Last fall we all watched as voters in Washington struggled to wade through the misinformation of Tim Eyman's Initiative 976 campaign that would have slashed four billion dollars of funds from cities and counties across the state—repealing critical transportation funding. But today our State Supreme Court struck down the initiative as illegal and restored previously voter-approved transit initiatives. This gives communities across the state the green light to move ahead with transportation improvements and investments and choose to keep moving towards cleaner transportation for everyone.
This is a huge win for transit riders and for all of us who want safer streets, hate potholes and congestion, and want clean air and a healthy climate.
We encourage you to read more in the news about this landmark decision. Climate Solutions was one of several groups including the Transit Riders Union and the disability rights group Washington ADAPT to intervene in the case. Here are some of their reflections:
"The court’s decision to overturn Eyman’s I-976 is a win for transit riders and for everyone in Washington state who benefits from a functional transportation system— and that's all of us,” said Katie Wilson, general secretary of the Transit Riders Union. “It’s also a win for democracy, affirming the rights of voters in cities and transportation districts around the state to make their own decisions about how to fund transportation improvements and public transit. Now it’s time to get to work. Fully funding an equitable, sustainable transportation system will be essential to our state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession."
"Overturning I-976 is a win for anyone who rides transit and wants safer streets, hates potholes and congestion, and wants clean air and a healthy climate,” said Vlad Gutman-Britten, Washington State Director for Climate Solutions. “The Washington Supreme Court today restored voter-approved transit initiatives. Now that this sorry saga is behind us, it's time to focus on investing in the sustainable, affordable, equitable transportation system Washington needs."
"The Washington State disability community will benefit from the I-976 decision if these funds go to more accessible public transit services,” said Janine Bertram of Washington ADAPT. "I-976 would have left disabled transit riders around the stranded. 30 years after ADA was signed, we still have inadequate service and dysfunctional elevators. It’s long past time to make our transportation system accessible to all."