I am joining hundreds of others in the “Week Without Driving” challenge, organized by the nonprofit organization Disability Rights Washington. I am encouraging the public and Metro employees to do the challenge as a way to deepen your understanding of the work we do and the benefits of riding transit, as well as the challenges.
As many of you know, my mother had a disability that prevented her from driving, so my siblings and I grew up taking Metro. It shaped the trajectory of my life in a positive way and public transit is still my preferred mode of transportation. And yet, there is so much more we must do to make public transportation accessible, especially for those who don’t drive—which is nearly 25 percent of people in our state.
When I did this challenge last year, I reflected a lot on how important it is for policymakers and elected officials to use our system. They are making the big decisions that greatly impact our funding, infrastructure and riders.
At Metro, we know mobility is a human right. When doing this challenge, think about how our system serves people who don’t drive—which includes people with disabilities, young people, seniors and people who can’t afford cars or gas.
I look forward to hearing what you observed, what surprised you and what we can do to keep making our system better. I know we can learn a lot from each other.
Follow along or join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #WeekWithoutDriving.