PSBJ: Transit-Oriented Development is Next Big Thing

The Puget Sound Business Journal recently highlighted growing momentum for transit-oriented development and featured a slideshow of projects underway around the region.

Othello StationHelping cities develop successful walkable and vibrant communities around transit is the goal of PSRC’s Growing Transit Communities Partnership.

It aims to help cities make the most of the $15 billion in light rail and other rapid transit planned over the next 20 years.

The Growing Transit Communities Partnership is inviting comment on a draft strategy focused on attracting more of the region’s housing and job growth near transit communities, and to ensure that these communities are affordable to people from all walks of life.  Find out more and comment by June 7.

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Transportation Projects Awarded $24 Million in PSRC Funds

Thanks to action today by the PSRC Executive Board, a number of ready to go transportation projects will be constructed and designed this year.

Sound Transit Link

PSRC awarded $3.4 million to the Tacoma Link Expansion, approved by voters in 2008.

Sumner is replacing the Stewart Road Bridge. King County is completing a segment of the East Lake Sammamish Trail.  The Tulalip Tribes are improving the I-5 interchange at 116th St. NE in northern Snohomish County.

These investments are among 21 projects receiving $24 million in PSRC funding approved by the Executive Board today.

PSRC’s action will ensure the region meets an August 1 deadline for using funds from the Federal Highway Administration.

The PSRC funding awards are contingent on each project being immediately ready to go. If project doesn’t meet the delivery deadline of August 1, then funds for that project will be returned.

You can watch the meeting video on our website.

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Obama Nominee: Washington State Ferries “Critical” to Transportation

President Obama’s nominee to be Secretary of Transportation has pledged to advocate for critical transportation systems and says “in Washington State the ferry system is one of those.”

Transportation Secretary Nominee Anthony Foxx

Transportation Secretary Nominee Anthony Foxx

A question from Washington Senator Maria Cantwell to Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Anthony Foxx prompted his remarks.

Cantwell is on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which held a confirmation hearing for Mayor Foxx today.

In questioning from Cantwell, Fox also said he’d be excited to participate in the development of a National Freight Strategic Plan and said a dedicated source of freight funding “should be looked at.”

You can see the entire hearing on C-SPAN.  Senator Cantwell’s questions start at 1:23:51.


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Title VI Plan: PSRC’s Commitment to Fair and Equal Planning

Seattle CenterPSRC doesn’t discriminate.

We have a document called a Title VI plan that spells out the agency’s commitment to nondiscrimination and fairness in all of its activities.

The name comes from federal law: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987.

Under those laws, any agency receiving federal funds is required to have a Title VI plan.  PSRC adopted its first Title VI plan in 2004, and periodically updates the plan to reflect new federal requirements.

To identify low-income and minority households, PSRC publishes an Environmental Justice Demographic Profile based on the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey. This data helps the agency ensure participation by all people potentially affected by transportation decision-making.

For example, PSRC can offer translation services for people with limited English proficiency.  The agency also uses outreach techniques for involving people with low incomes and communities of color in planning for transportation.

The Executive Board will consider approval of the Title VI plan at its meeting on Thursday.


Regional Transit Ridership Trends

Overall regional transit ridership grew by 2% in 2012.  Nationally, ridership increased 1.5%.


Ridership increases were not evenly spread throughout the region, however.

Ridership for Metro King County and Sound Transit grew, while ridership decreased for other transit agencies in the region.

Metro King County ridership grew 2.3% in 2012 and increased service hours by 6.1% in 2011.  Sound Transit ridership grew in 2012 for bus, commuter rail, Tacoma Link and Central Link. Sound Transit service hours remained stable for 2012.  Metro King County had a small reduction of service of 0.8% in 2011.

Annual ridership in 2012 for Community, Everett, Kitsap, and Pierce Transit fell between 2-13%.  All of these agencies also had a decline in service hours due to budget cuts. Community Transit, Everett Transit and Pierce Transit service hours were reduced between 17-20%.  Kitsap Transit increased service hours by 3.2% during the same period, but had service reductions of 8.4% in 2009 and 12.4% in 2010.

Read the rest

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Growing Transit Communities on Seattle TV

The city of Seattle’s planning, land use and sustainability committee recently heard all about the Growing Transit Communities Strategy.

PSRC is looking for input on the draft strategy, which offers approaches for cities, developers and nonprofits developing thriving neighborhoods around high-capacity transit areas.

The comment period runs until June 7, 2013. Learn more


Performance First: Making a Business Case for Supplier Diversity

Performance First helps companies bring minority- and women-owned businesses into their supplier pipelines.
Performance First photo

The nine-step program uses specialized guidance and tools to understand and incorporate ways to diversify procurement and purchasing.

Online and self-paced, the program has an accompanying Supplier Diversity Toolkit.

Each step consists of a video and recommended readings from the Billion Dollar Roundtable (BDR) Supplier Diversity Best Practices book.

The Puget Sound Regional Council developed the program in partnership with the University of Washington and the Northwest Minority Supplier Development Council.