Seven years ago.
That was the last time our Legislature passed major transportation funding to address how we get around Washington.
What hasn’t changed in seven years? Transportation is still our largest source of climate pollution. We all still hate sitting in traffic. Yet we’re still mostly stuck relying on fossil-fueled cars to get around… and freight vehicles, garbage trucks, and buses mostly use fossil fuels, too.
What’s different? We are starting to see how we can get around and how we can power vehicles big and small without polluting our air, threatening our climate, and harming our lungs.
We cannot wait another seven years, or even half of that, to accelerate our transition to cleaner transportation. In recent years we have seen unprecedented climate impacts right here in Washington. We’ve all had to breathe in that smokey air and endure the record-shattering heat and floods.
With the rollout of Move Ahead Washington, our Legislature is showing the willingness to take strong action on climate by continuing the momentum from last year, when the Climate Commitment Act laid the foundation for this proposal.
There’s a lot to do to expand safer and affordable ways to get around in our communities—urban and rural and everything in between. Our state lawmakers need to ensure that vehicles of all types that are on our roads create zero air pollution and figure out ways to cut congestion at the same time.
We also need to recognize that a lot of folks do not own a car—the Legislature needs to make sure that it's convenient to get around by walking, biking, or using transit. Our communities need more of the good stuff: sidewalks, bike paths, public transit, and clean buses and trucks.
Move Ahead Washington will clean up transportation and provide more ways to get around in our communities through historic investments in transportation electrification, transit, and active mobility. These investments should lead to climate progress, cleaner air, and healthier communities.
This is a great start to the transition we need to meet the challenge of the climate crisis, to protect our communities. and clean our air.
And how we pay for all this is also a shift. Move Ahead Washington transforms how the Legislature invests in transportation. The Legislature will fund large parts of the Move Ahead Washington plan with revenue from last year’s Climate Commitment Act that caps carbon pollution statewide.
It’s essential that we keep working with legislators to make sure these investments lead to deep pollution reductions—especially in communities that have been especially burdened by pollution—and offer us more ways to get around while transitioning away from dirty fossil fuels.
By passing a climate-forward package, legislators will show continued leadership in responding urgently to the climate crisis, accelerating clean transportation choices and prioritizing communities most burdened by pollution.
In short, our lawmakers have now told us what they want to do—now they need to do it.
We have a big chance to transform our transportation and make sure that it happens faster for all of us. Let’s not waste this opportunity!