Transportation Access Programs Newsletter

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Quick Bites of Our Transportation Access Programs (TAP) Stories Below!

  • We want to help more small businesses get on transit. Take our small business and transit survey today! 
  • Our Uplift Seattle’s Equitable Access to Transit (USEAT) research study is officially underway. 
  • We are excited to announce that the Recovery Card Program has been extended till May 31, 2024. 
  • Our 2022-2023 cohort of Youth Ambassadors are graduating our program! 

Story of the Month

Take our small business and transit survey by June 30! 

Getting around Seattle isn’t always easy, and we’ve heard from workers and businesses how transit acts as a lifeline to work opportunities, friends and family, schools, grocery stores, and other places of daily life. Participants in some of our other TAP programs have let us know how low cost or free transit has helped them stay on top of bills, find and keep jobs, enjoy the city, and ride transit more than ever – even if they own a car! 

With all this in mind, we're looking into ways to make it cheaper for small businesses in food service, grocery, retail, and personal care industries to give their employees free public transit rides. We are inviting small business owners, managers, and employees to tell us about their transit needs and provide feedback on employee transit program options. Take our survey by June 30 to be entered into a raffle for a $25 e-gift card!    

Program Updates

The USEAT research study is officially underway! 

A volunteer research assistant holds up a brochure while sitting at a table at Uplift Northwest

Our Uplift Seattle’s Equitable Access to Transit research study – USEAT for short – finally launched at the end of May! This three-year study is a partnership with local non-profit Uplift Northwest and the University of Notre Dame’s Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) and will explore the effects of subsidized transit on job seekers. Folks seeking job services from Uplift Northwest can elect to join the USEAT study and receive either a $10 pre-loaded ORCA card or a 12-month fully-subsidized ORCA card. 

With the help of some wonderful volunteer research assistants, we’ll be enrolling study participants every Thursday and Friday at Uplift Northwest for the next couple of years. Our first week onsite went smoothly and we enrolled 15 new study participants – right on track! We’re excited to share results from this study in three years when it concludes. 

The Recovery Card Program has been extended till May 31, 2024! 

The Recovery Card Program offers food service and grocery workers of small businesses in Chinatown-International District (CID), Pioneer Square, Othello, and Rainier Beach fully subsidized ORCA cards. We heard loud and clear from program participants just how vital this program has been, and how it hasnot helped participants not only get to work, but also get to other places of daily life. Knowing this, we are excited to announce that the program has been extended from its original sunset date in August to May 31, 2024. 

If you or someone you know is eligible for this program and would like to participate, you can apply online via our registration form on our program webpage. If you are eligible, our team will mail you your ORCA Recovery card to your workplace.  

Our 2022-2023 cohort of Youth Ambassadors are graduating our program! 

In collaboration with the Seattle Youth Employment Program (SYEP), our Youth Ambassadors Program invites high school students to learn about transit safety, equity, and justice as well as build up skills to be effective advocates for improving transit access. 

This year’s cohort included nine thoughtful and curious Youth Ambassadors. The Ambassadors attended classes structured around presentations and activities led by guest speakers who work in government agencies and community-based organizations. Ambassadors also worked on long-term projects focused on specific issues affecting youth riding transportation. 

To celebrate the Youth Ambassador’s hard work over the past year, TAP and SYEP are hosting a celebration where they can showcase their projects to SDOT staff and SYEP partners. This event will provide students the opportunity to discuss issues surrounding youth transportation access with SDOT staff.  

The event will be held on Tuesday, June 27th from 6 PM to 8 PM at Othello-UW Commons. We’re excited to learn from and celebrate our Youth Ambassadors!