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City of Seattle Releases Transportation Electrification Blueprint to Curb Climate Pollution and Spur an Electrified Economy 

First of its kind Blueprint lays out six ambitious goals to help Seattle move toward a future where everything that moves people, goods, and services in and around Seattle runs on clean, electric energy

SEATTLE (March 17, 2021) – The City of Seattle released a first of its kind, comprehensive City-wide plan that outlines how the City will move toward a clean and equitable transportation system in order to reduce climate emissions and air pollution, increase electric mobility options, and create a pipeline of green jobs and workforce diversity.  

“Right now, as our city and residents recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have the opportunity to build our city back better to prioritize our residents’ health, safety, and quality of life. While the City is committed to reducing car trips, these efforts alone are not enough to meet our climate goals – we must electrify everything that moves people, goods, and services in and around Seattle. By banning natural gas in buildings and electrifying our transportation system, Seattle can lead the nation in reducing our emissions and addressing climate change,” said Mayor Jenny A Durkan. 

Transportation is the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions in Seattle, while also degrading air quality and contributing to water pollution, all of which disproportionately harm our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. This effort was co-led by the Office of Sustainability and Environment, Seattle City Light, Seattle Department of Transportation, and the Office of Economic Development to incorporate a wide range of expertise in climate policy, innovation, infrastructure, transit, mobility, economic development and workforce development to ensure an equitable transition.  

“Seattle’s Transportation Electrification Blueprint is a comprehensive, cross-cutting effort of multiple city departments working together to set ambitious 2030 policy goals and near-term actions to electrify Seattle’s transportation system,” said Amanda Eaken, Director of Transportation, NRDC, American Cities Climate Challenge. “This bold plan is a model for cities across the nation to follow.”  

The Transportation Electrification Blueprint calls for the City to take immediate action to plan for the policy-changes, infrastructure investments, and partnerships that will be required to meet these ambitious 2030 goals for the City:  

  • 100 Percent of Shared Mobility is Zero Emissions  – As shared mobility services like bikes, scooters, taxis, Uber, Lyft, carshare services and others continue to expand in Seattle, the City will ensure those options are electric and emissions free. 
  • 90 Percent of All Personal Trips are Zero Emissions  – To reach our climate goals, by 2030 nine out of ten trips must be taken by walking, biking, electric transit or in an electric vehicle (or avoided all together).  
  • 30 Percent of Goods Delivery is Zero Emissions  – As more and more of the goods we buy and the food we eat are purchased online, we are seeing growing congestion and pollution from transportation. This goal is aimed to spur the transition of private fleets to EVs, following the same goal for personal vehicles, over the next 10 years.
  • 100 percent of City Fleet is fossil-fuel free (Executive Order 2018-02)  - Continuing to lead by example, Seattle will operate a large municipal fleet with zero fossil fuels by 2030.
  • One or more ‘Green & Healthy Streets’ in Seattle   – Seattle will ensure a major area of our city will have zero emissions from transportation including streets or blocks that are closed to cars and promote walking, biking, electrified transit, and electric goods delivery and services.  
  • Electrical infrastructure required to stay ahead of Transportation Electrification adoption is installed and operational – Infrastructure investments will enable a rapid transition to an electrified transportation system. Seattle City Light will work strategically to make sure the grid is reliable and built out to enable rapid adoption for emerging electric transportation technologies and vehicles.  

This work included consulting with the Environmental Justice Committee, community leaders, and is centered on community-identified priorities of expanding electric transit and mobility options, making charging and vehicles more reliable and accessible, and connecting workforce opportunities to communities who need them the most.  

“Since 2018, the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle has partnered with the City of Seattle on several projects to gather input from various communities on transportation electrification. We are thrilled that our community based participatory research provided the framework for Seattle’s Transportation Electrification Blueprint to center community identified priorities, specifically, increasing electric transit and mobility options, making EVs and charging more accessible and connecting related job opportunities to residents who need them the most,” said Jose Chi, Environmental Coalition of South Seattle Project Manager & Environmental Justice Committee Member. “We look forward to continuing this partnership as the City works to implement the Blueprint and loop back with communities to let them know their voices have been heard and how their feedback is being actioned.”  
Seattle’s Transportation Electrification Blueprint is an opportunity to build on past successes and lessons learned to provide economic and health benefits to traditionally underserved communities through increased mobility options, reducing fuel and maintenance costs, mitigating climate change and improving air quality.   

 “The City of Seattle refuse contract and climate strategy enabled Recology to purchase two of the first all-electric Class 8, rear-load garbage/recycling collection trucks in North America. With Seattle leading the way, other cities are eager to follow and provide their residents with quiet trash service and clean air,” said Derek Ruckman, Vice President of Recology. “We look forward to supporting near term actions outlined in Seattle’s Transportation Electrification Blueprint, specifically working with the City on infrastructure incentives and policies needed to advance electrification of municipal waste fleets in Seattle and beyond.”   

“Seattle has a vision for a fossil-fuel free future, where the air is clean and our communities thrive. People will take electric buses, ferries, or light rail to work, shopping and other destinations,” said Andrea Pratt, Climate & Transportation Program Manager with Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment. “A robust bike lane network will make it easy for to use bikes, e-scooters, or walk. Ships at port are plugged in, every package delivered to your doorstep comes on an electric van, truck or e-bike. Silent, clean, electric trash and utility trucks will service neighborhoods. This is a future we all deserve, and through this Transportation Electrification Blueprint, we’re ready to get to work.”