We’ve long said that we all need to be part of the solution to reduce emissions. Our efforts can’t just focus on a handful of businesses when close to 50% of our state’s emissions come from the cars on the road. And recently, we got some good news. More people in King County are opting to ride the bus. This helps us all. All told, more than 78,000 Seattleites uses the bus to commute to and from work. This puts Seattle as the second most bus-reliant city in the nation, after San Francisco.
Our aging infrastructure continues to plague the region and a newly formed initiative called Challenge Seattle recognizes it as one of our top issues. Coming together, businesses including Alaska Airlines, Starbucks, Costco, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Puget Sound Energy, Weyerhaeuser and many others are putting forward new ideas to advance our region’s transportation goals.
Part of the plan includes a commitment that no more than 35% of their employees will commute in single occupancy vehicles by 2035. Washington already has the 7th fewest solo auto commuters in the nation, but this commitment will help us get even further. The members of Challenge Seattle are committed to encouraging their employees to bike, ride the bus, take light rail or carpool to work.
This isn’t the first time businesses have worked to make our transportation system better or reduce their transportation emissions. For instance, WA-based Interstate Distributor became the first national carrier to “go green” by adding 20 new LNG-fueled tractors to its fleet. But, we are all stronger when we work together, which is why the Challenge Seattle effort is so exciting.
Companies are collaborating to solve some of our region’s biggest problems. They fully plan to work with municipalities and government agencies to create and implement a plan that works for us all. Washingtonians have a history of deliberating and collaborating. We also have a history and future of innovation. Let us take our strengths and put them to work for us.