New and Expanded Programs Are Coming to TAP!

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Quick bites of our Transportation Access Programs (TAP) stories below! 

  • We just wrapped up 6 weeks of in-person distribution for the SHA Transit Pass Program 
  • Our new Safety Research project launched at the end of March 
  • Our U-SEAT research study is set to begin this month 
  • Exciting additions are coming to King County Metro’s Reduced Fares Programs 
  • Puget Sound Sage’s Community Leadership Institution is accepting applications through May 1 
  • Puget Sound Regional Council is inviting high school students to apply for its Summer Planning Academy through May 15 

Story of the Month

Thank You to Everyone Helped Make Our 6-Week-Long In-Person Distribution Effort for the SHA Transit Pass Program Possible!

Earlier this year, we announced that we were expanding our SHA Transit Pass Program to all 10,000 residents in 102 properties owned and managed by the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA). Eligible residents can receive a fully subsidized transit pass lasting through the end of 2026. This work is possible through the support of SDOT and funding from the Seattle Transit Measure (STM). 

To support this effort, the TAP team embarked on 6 weeks of in-person distribution, hosting over two dozen distribution events at 15 different SHA properties across Seattle from late January to early March. That’s over 120 hours that we spent tabling! We loved hearing the surprise and delight residents expressed when they heard their new cards could be used on transportation all over the Puget Sound and last nearly 4 years.  

We couldn’t have pulled off this effort without the immense support of the community and our various partners. Our coworkers at SDOT and partners at SHA and King County Metro generously donated their days to help TAP run the distribution events. Additionally, the Department of Neighborhood’s Community Liaisons provided vital in-person interpretation services in over 13 languages. Community members and SHA property staff helped us spread the word about the distribution; plenty of folks stopped by at our tables after their neighbors knocked on their doors. Thank you for helping us get the word out! 

In sum, we passed out over 2,400 cards in-person, with plenty more to follow. Folks who were unable to pick up a card in person can fill out our online registration form and we will mail you your card later this spring. If you already filled out this form, please do not do so again; it will delay the receipt of your card.  

Community members sit across a table with language interpreters in a community room

Community Liaisons work with community members in their preferred languages to enroll in the SHA Transit Pass Program

Program Updates

Announcing the Launch of Our Safety Research Project

Safety has been a trending topic in the transit world over the last few years, but there’s little consensus on what makes people feel safe. Of the research that was reviewed for this project, much of it glosses over or does not solicit the perspectives of our most marginalized transit riders, even though they are the most vulnerable riders and face the most prevalent barriers to access. This work is closely aligned with SDOT’s values and will prioritize work outlined in Seattle’s Transportation Equity Framework (TEF).

In response, TAP is launching our Safety Research project, an amalgamation of existing transit safety research, broad community outreach and surveying, and input from a SDOT interdepartmental safety advisory group, with assistance from King County Metro and Sound Transit. The advisory group met for the first-time in late March and brought perspectives of transit safety from their respective work. We’re looking forward to hearing from the community, too, when we launch our safety survey later in 2023! 

We're Launching the U-SEAT Research Project Later This Month

The Uplift Seattle’s Equitable Access to Transit (U-SEAT) research project is finally set to launch this month! U-SEAT is a joint project by SDOT, the University of Notre Dame’s Lab for Economics (LEO) research team, and local non-profit Uplift Northwest, 

Uplift Northwest provides jobs training, work opportunities, and other support services to people experiencing poverty and homelessness. Their temporary staff agency connects their clients with various jobs in and around Seattle. U-SEAT is a 3-year-long study that will work with clients of Uplift Northwest through a randomized controlled trial, allowing us to say with more certainty than ever what, if any, effect subsidized transit has on employment outcomes, transit ridership, and quality of life.  

We’ve been busy designing this study over the last year and we are finally ready for launch this week! Many thanks to our friends at LEO and Uplift Northwest and our various volunteer research assistants for making this effort possible. 

Partner Updates

Check Out These Updates to King County Metro's Subsidized ORCA Fares

Several exciting changes are coming to King County Metro’s subsidized fares programs! Visit King County Metro’s Reduced Fare Portal to see if any of these fare programs are right for you. 

  • Pierce County Transit is adopting ORCA LIFT fares! ORCA LIFT cardholders can now pay the reduced fare of $1 on Pierce Transit buses and Runner services.
    ORCA LIFT is a reduced fare ORCA program offered to qualifying low-income residents in the Puget Sound region. Visit their webpage to see if you qualify. 
  • Everett Transit is taking up Subsidized Annual Pass fares! Passholders can now take Everett buses at no cost. 
    The Subsidized Annual Pass is offered to qualifying low-income Puget Sound residents who are also enrolled in one of six qualifying federal subsidy programs. Subsidized Annual Passholders can take transit for free with participating transit agencies.  
  • If you are interested in learning more about the Subsidized Annual Pass, please see King County Metro’s Subsidized Annual Pass toolkit. This toolkit overviews what the pass is, how to qualify, and how to enroll. If you have questions, please contact the Reduced Fares Team at or 206-477-4200.

Apply to Puget Sound Sage's Community Leadership Institute

Puget Sound Sage’s Community Leadership Institute (CLI) is open for applications! CLI is a 6-month fellowship program for emerging BIPOC leaders. CLI fellows will receive a stipend, training, mentorship, and opportunities to serve on strategic boards and commissions in King, Pierce, and Clark Counties. For more information and the application, visit the CLI webpage. Applications are due on May 1.  

Apply to Puget Sound Regional Council's Summer Planning Academy

Puget Sound Regional Council’s Summer Planning Academy (SPA) is open for applications! High school students 16 and up who are interested in how cities develop and have ideas on how to make our communities better places for everyone are invited to apply for this free program. Participating youth will receive a stipend for their time. SPA is accepting applications through May 15. Visit their website for more information and application materials.