Seattle commuters are putting their faith in transit even as residents in other parts of the state passed a ballot measure earlier this month that could cut billions of dollars in transportation funds.
The number of people driving solo to work in Seattle fell from 53 percent in 2010 to only 44 percent in 2018 — the steepest decline in the nation among large metro areas over that period according to a Seattle Times analysis of Census records.
Instead people took rail, buses, bikes, and ferries or simply walked to their jobs. Transit use in the Seattle area skyrocketed from 5 percent to 23 percent over the same period while the number of people who walked to work rose from about 3 percent to 12 percent. Cycling to work last year rose 3.8 percent from 0.2 percent in 2010 while just under 8 percent worked from home, up from 1.1 percent.
Last year was the first time that more than 100,000 people used public transit to get to work on an average day, the Seattle Times found. Roughly 89,000 people took the bus and another 10,000 used light rail to get to their jobs.
Some Washingtonians ditched their cars entirely. Only 81 percent of Seattle households owned a car in 2018, down three points from 2010 and one of the largest drops among U.S. cities where trends have been moving in the opposite direction this decade.
Clearly Seattle is proving that cities can reduce the number of cars on the road and shift its population to rely on mass transit. Here are a few of those lessons.
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