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Seattle's Bus Ridership Growing While Rest of the Country Goes the Other Direction

Transit malls and voter support have buoyed a system that continues to attract commuters and other riders.
October 21, 2017, 7am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Seattle Electric Bus

Seattle's buses are gaining riders. This is remarkable, in part, because the rest of the country is generally losing public transit riders and bus riders in particularThis matters for reasons of environmentalism and equality. "Bus service is crucial to reducing emissions in the Seattle region. According to King County Metro, which serves the region.  Nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in Washington State come from transportation," Andrew Small reports for CityLab. In terms of equity, the larger the population that rides the bus, the more likely the buses are to gain support, so that it's not just those who can't afford to drive or are physically unable to do so, who fight for these resources.

Small doesn't point to any one silver bullet to account for Seattle's growth in transit riders but, rather, three categories of fixes: the existence of transit malls, a handful of small fixes (like bus-only turn lanes in particular stretches), and the support of Seattle voters.

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Published on Monday, October 16, 2017 in CityLab
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