Downtown Seattle has seen a significant job growth, with 45,000 jobs added in the city centre between 2010 and 2016. Considering that the area had already reached almost full street capacity at peak hour, an expansion like that could have substantially worsened the local traffic.
However, a report released in 2017 by Commute Seattle shows that, despite the job growth, only 2,344 single occupant car trips to downtown were added since 2010. The other 95% were absorbed by public transport, ridesharing, walking, cycling and teleworking. Transit, which includes bus, rail and ferry, is the mode of transport chosen by 47% of commuters as can be seen in the graph below:
It is important to note that cycling remained stable, representing 3% of the commuting, showing that there may be potential to increase other modes of transport as an alternative to driving alone.
According to Commute Seattle, investments such as the expansion of metro lines, light rail and protected bike lanes contributed to the results. In addition, employers played their part by providing infrastructure and incentives for their employees and tenants to choose alternatives mode of transport: “downtown employers invested over $100 million in infrastructure and transportation benefits in 2016”.
The combination of different initiatives resulted in a boost of public transport as the preferred option to reach downtown Seattle:
Image source: Unsplash and Commute Seattle