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Metro is in the process of updating several key policy documents to reflect the principles and recommendations co-created with community and reported in our Mobility Framework.

Metro sees mobility as a human right that allows communities and individuals to access the opportunities needed to thrive. We know historical and racial disparities affect all of us, and our region’s ability to live well and thrive. We also know climate change threatens our economy, environment, health, and safety. As a public agency, it is Metro’s duty to assure our mobility services support livable communities, a thriving economy, and a sustainable environment. Safety and responsible financial stewardship remain core priorities for our agency.

We also know that transportation is changing rapidly. New technologies, services, apps, and innovations—from shared e-scooters to driverless delivery pods, ride-hailing, ride-sharing, and more—are changing the ways that people and goods get around. There are many more mobility options available today than a decade ago, and there will be more in the years and decades to come.

The Mobility Framework is helping Metro adapt to this changing transportation system in an equitable and sustainable way. Its recommendations are guiding our work in 2020 and 2021 to update to our policies, our budget and business planning, and our pandemic response and recovery.

We define equity as a system of fairness, providing full and equal access to opportunities, power and resources. King County is leading with racial justice because historical and racial inequities continue to affect all of us, and our region’s ability to thrive.

Climate change threatens the health and safety of people, the economy and environment. Transportation emissions are 36% of regional greenhouse gas emissions. The mobility framework and subsequent policy updates will help guide Metro’s emissions reduction goals to do our part in creating a sustainable environment.

In 2019 Metro convened the Mobility Equity Cabinet—a group of leaders from historically underserved and underrepresented communities including, but not limited to, low-income populations, black, indigenous and communities of color, immigrants and refugees, limited English-speaking populations, and people with disabilities. We met regularly with the Equity Cabinet to co-create a set of guiding principles and recommendations for centering equity and sustainability in our policies. We gathered input from transit riders and public especially from priority populations, our regional partners, stakeholders, elected officials and employees throughout the process.

The Equity Cabinet’s recommendations for the Mobility Framework were transmitted to the King County Council in October 2019 and adopted in March 2020.

Metro staff and the Equity Cabinet reviewed data and about King County’s demographics and travel behaviors and heard feedback through community engagement that highlights that many communities that rely on transit most for access to jobs and education are not well served by our current system. Rising housing costs have pushed lower-income families and communities of color out to suburban communities, especially in South King County, where it can be harder to serve and connect people to the transit network and provide fast, frequent, reliable transit. In addition the network focuses on weekday, peak period service. However, we found that people who need our service most work jobs at different times of the day and days of the week.

We also found that lower-income communities and communities of color suffer the greatest consequences of regional air pollution and climate change. Lastly, ridership patterns during the COVID-19 pandemic have illustrated where people are still riding transit, therefore highlighting areas of greatest need.

By investing where needs are greatest and building a transit network that connects people to opportunities with alternatives to single-occupant vehicle travel we can have the biggest impact on racial inequities and climate change.

Strategic Plan for Public Transportation

Outlines Metro’s goals, the strategies and objectives to achieve them, and the measures to determine if we are succeeding.

Updates will incorporate the Mobility Framework’s guiding principles and recommendations into the goals, strategies, and objectives and include information about the Marine Division and climate goals. Updates will also simplify and reduce the number of measures and increase transparency by creating a public-facing performance measurement dashboard so staff, elected leaders, and the public can track progress on Metro’s strategies and goals.

Metro’s Service Guidelines

The Service Guidelines help Metro evaluate, design, and modify transit services to meet changing needs and to deliver efficient, high-quality service. They ensure that decision-making and recommendations are objective, transparent, and aligned with the region’s goals for public transportation. They also establish criteria and processes that Metro uses to analyze and plan changes to the transit system

Updates will align priorities with the Mobility Framework by adding new ways to consider equity in decisions about adding or reducing service, incorporating the service network defined in the Metro Connects long-range plan vision, updating policies for restructures updating our approach to community engagement and partnerships, describing land uses that support each transit service type, and assessing low-performing routes for negative greenhouse gas impacts. More information about these updates, particularly around new options for how Metro would grow service, are in the policy update overview.

METRO CONNECTS

METRO CONNECTS is Metro’s long-range plan for providing more service, more choices, and one easy-to-use system. It provides a vision for the service network in 2025 and 2040 with fast, frequent, and reliable service all day, every day throughout King County; innovative travel options; clean, safe and customer-friendly vehicles and facilities; and information that makes transit work for everyone.

Metro is also updating Metro Connects to include a greater emphasis on addressing equity and climate change, as well as relevant recommendations from the Mobility Framework. Updates will include extending the timeline to 2050 and replacing the 2025 network with an interim network. The service network maps will be updated with revisions to the RapidRide network and changes that better serve equity gaps identified.

Timeline

  • Metro’s Equity Cabinet convened

  • Stakeholder and public engagement process

  • Metro and Equity Cabinet finalize Mobility Framework and transmit to King County Council

  • Mobility Framework adopted by King County Council

  • Equity Cabinet and stakeholder engagement on policy updates

  • Executive transmits policy updates to King County Council for review

Mobility Equity Cabinet

Metro built on the success and momentum of the Department of Natural Resources and Parks Open Space Equity Cabinet, which worked to embed an equity-based approach into how the region invests in its open space infrastructure to redress the disparities in access to parks and open spaces. Metro continued the Equity Cabinet, with many of the same members and some new members, to identify opportunities to center equity and sustainability in how the region grows, integrates new mobility choices, and invests in its public transit and related infrastructure.

The cabinet includes 25 community leaders representing low-income communities, black, native and communities of color, immigrants and refugees, limited-English speaking people, and people with disabilities. The group convened regularly throughout 2019 to co-crate the Mobility Framework and continues to meet monthly in online meetings to discuss and provide feedback on proposed updates to Metro’s policies. Regular meetings will continue through mid-2021 when the updated policies are transmitted to King County Council, and then as needed through the Council review and adoption process.

Cabinet Members

Name Organization
Michelle Benetua Seattle Parks Foundation
Niesha  Brooks Community Leader
Leda Chahim Community Leader
Tameiko Cook ATU Secretary
Sarneshea Evans (Co-Chair) Friends of Waterfront Seattle
Rita Green NAACP Youth Council
Ellany Kayce Nakani Native Program
Paulina Lopez Duwamish River Clean-Up Coalition
Alex Mayo Community Activist
Munira Mohamed East African Community Services
Pah-tu Pitt The BIPOC Project
Linwood Robinson King County Transit Advisory Commission
Sili Savusa White Center Community Development Association
Jeff Smith United Indians of All Tribes
Chalisa Thompson University of Washington
Tony To (Co-Chair) HomeSight
Anna Zivarts Rooted in Rights
Mozart Guerrier 21 Progress
Azucena Munoz Para los Ninos
Hester Serebrin Transportation Choices Coalition
Regina Dove Transportation Choices Coalition
Karen Bosshart Environmental Justice Advocate
Monisha Harrell Equal Rights WA
Jessica Par TCC Peer Educator
Karishama Vahora TCC Peer Educator
Leyila Mustefa TCC Peer Educator
Anna Zivarts Disability Rights Washington
Kiana Parker Community Advocate

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