Take our 2016 Transit Rider Survey!

February 9, 2016


TRU wants to hear from you. How do you use the public transit system? What could be changed to improve your riding experience and your quality of life? What transit issues do you care about most, and what campaigns do you think TRU should focus on this year? Our 2016 Transit Rider Survey will probably take you 15 to 30 minutes to fill out, depending on how detailed you are with your answers. Thanks for taking the time to tell us what you think!

The Long Walk Home: TRU Movie Night!

January 26, 2016

Saturday, February 6
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Hillman City Collaboratory, 5623 Rainier Ave S. (Route 7 bus)
Optional RSVP on Facebook


You’re invited to a community viewing of The Long Walk Home! This 1990 film depicts two women, black and white, in 1955 Montgomery Alabama, who must decide what to do in response to the famous bus boycott. Doors open at 6:00, the movie starts at 6:30. There will be food! Bring something to share if you’d like. The event is family-friendly and free, though we welcome donations to help cover costs. You can RSVP on Facebook here, and please invite your friends!

New Seattle Transit Map: Got Feedback?

January 13, 2016

*Update* The Seattle Transit Map is printed! Read more and find out how to get one here.

Check out this draft of a fantastic new Seattle Transit Map created by Oran Viriyinci! TRU is collecting feedback on the design so that the map can be improved and printed after the March 2016 service changes. Please submit your comments and suggestions here. If you would like a paper copy to study and comment on, email us at contact@transitriders.org and we may be able to get one to you. (Click on the image to get to the full map.)

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We Won!!! Transit Passes for Public School Students

December 3, 2015

PG 3 Bus3The Transit Riders Union is thrilled to announce a big victory in our ongoing Affordable Transit Campaign. The budget approved by the Seattle City Council on November 23 included $1 million to fund transit passes for low-income high school and middle school students. Thank you so much to everyone who worked on this campaign, to the more than 1,000 people who signed our petition, and especially to the courageous students at Rainier Beach High School students who organized a march to City Hall in July and an amazing Town Hall forum last month.

But we’re not done yet. We believe that all youth in Seattle and King County should have year-round access to public transit. Enabling youth to travel freely to school, activities, and jobs will help to close the opportunity gap, break the school-to-prison pipeline, and combat climate change by increasing public transit use. We can win this, but it will require a strong and united community effort to secure cooperation between the city, the county and the school district to get it done. We are seeking students, parents, teachers and community supporters to help us move this project forward. If you are interested, please email us at contact@transitriders.org.

Rally to Make Seattle Affordable For All – Photos and Video

October 21, 2015

Thank you, everyone who joined us at the Rally to Make Seattle Affordable for All! Here are a few photos (thanks Garet Munger!) and videos of some of the speeches (thanks Elliot Stoller!):

October 20 -4420

Tenant and housing activist Sahro Farah speaks!

Continue reading

Rally to Make Seattle Affordable for All!

October 10, 2015


Monday, October 19
5:30 – 7:00 PM
City Hall Plaza, 600 4th Ave.

Join us at a rally to bring some urgency and purpose to City Hall! Seattle faces an unprecedented crisis of affordability. Rents are rising out of control, tents are pitched on every patch of grass, and working and low-income residents of our city are treading water if not drowning.

Right now, the Seattle City Council is making budget decisions that will affect us all. Voters are preparing to elect a new city council. What happens this fall could shape our city for years to come. Continue reading

Seattle General Election Endorsements

September 21, 2015

The Transit Riders Union has endorsed candidates in five of the nine races for Seattle City Council. Here are our endorsements! And you’re invited to our kickoff party on Monday, September 28th!

The short version:

Seattle District 1: Lisa Herbold
Seattle District 3: Kshama Sawant
Seattle District 4: Michael Maddux
Seattle District 6: Mike O’Brien
Seattle Citywide Position 8: Jon Grant
Transportation Levy to Move Seattle: YES

The long version:

This fall, all nine seats on the Seattle City Council are up for election. With the debut of Seattle’s new district system, everyone will get to vote for three councilmembers: one to represent their district (1 through 7), and two to fill the city-wide positions (8 and 9).

We have a chance to elect a kick-ass city council this fall – the most progressive, diverse, responsive city council Seattle has ever seen, in fact. But the stakes are high. Continue reading

The Metro Fare

September 20, 2015


Metro Fare is a weekly comic based on local bus stories. Got a funny Metro experience you’d like to share? Visit metrofarecomic.com to send it in for a ‘toon up.’

Meet the Candidates! Election Party: Monday, September 28

September 16, 2015

This fall, TRU is campaigning to elect the most progressive city council Seattle has ever seen! We’ve endorsed candidates who we believe will represent us and deliver on issues such as better public transit, affordable housing, police accountability and ending homelessness – rather than acting in the interests of big money. We’re also encouraging a YES vote on the Move Seattle levy. You’re invited to our kick-off party! Come meet & hear from the candidates, talk about the upcoming elections, and sign up to volunteer with TRU if you like. And, there will be cookies! RSVP not necessary, but appreciated – scroll down and fill out the form to let us know you’re coming.

TRU Fall Election Campaign Party
Monday, September 28
7:00 – 10:00 PM
Owl & Thistle Pub
808 Post Ave., Seattle 98104
(Between Marion St. & Columbia St., one block west of 1st Ave, near Pioneer Square)

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Public School Students March for Free Transit Passes

July 31, 2015
What a crowd!

What a crowd! Filling the steps of City Hall.

On July 31, public school students from Rainier Beach High School and other schools in Seattle marched from SPS Headquarters to City Hall to draw attention to the transportation challenges they face and to call for free ORCA passes for all public school students.

The march proceeds from SPS Headquarters in SODO and heads downtown.

Beginning from SPS Headquarters in SODO, the march headed towards downtown.

Currently, only high school students who live more than 2.5 miles from their school are eligible for a free ORCA pass subsidized by the school district. The distance cut-off for middle schoolers is 2.0 miles. Not only is five or more miles (the distance is measured “as the crow flies”) a long way to walk to and from school, often there is no safe route to walk, due to dangerous traffic or neighborhoods.

It's illegal to not go to school, why isn't it illegal to not give kids a way to get there?

It’s illegal to not go to school, why isn’t it illegal to not give kids a way to get there?

Since 2011, Metro fares for youth have risen from $0.75 to $1.25 and now to $1.50, or $54 for a monthly pass. This is not affordable for low-income families. It’s time for our city to provide free transportation for all students to get to school! Continue reading

Don’t Miss the Voting Extravaganza, July 27 & 28!

July 20, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 3.23.28 PMPrimary ballots are here! If you’re a registered voter, you should have gotten yours in the mail already. Now, you just have to remember to cast your vote (take a look at TRU’s endorsements!) and get your ballot in the mail or to a dropbox by August 4.

But why vote alone when you can join in TRU’s two-night Voting Extravaganza?? Bring yourself & your ballot, schmooze with the candidates, enjoy drink specials, and hear some comedy from stand-up comedian and local political commentator Brett Hamil (check out his take on the Dist. 3 race here!).

Plus, stamps are expensive these days. We’ll have a box for ballots if you want us to take yours to the dropbox for you, and some stamps if you prefer to put it in the mail yourself. So come, bring your friends, and above all don’t forget to vote!!  Details above and below, you can RSVP on Facebook.

TRU Voting Extravaganza Day #1
Monday, July 27, 7:00 PM – close
@ Neighbor Lady Bar, 2308 E. Union St.

TRU Voting Extravaganza Day #2
Tuesday, July 28, 7:00 – 10:00 PM
@ Vermillion Bar, 1508 11th Ave

One more note on why voting by August 4 is so important. Turnout in primary elections tends to be very low, especially in odd years – as low as 25% of registered voters have actually voted in primaries in King County in recent years. A few of these primary races could come down to extremely thin margins. Your vote really counts!!!

Stuck in a Jam

July 10, 2015

Check out the trailer for this new documentary from Undrgrnd Productions about traffic and transit in Seattle! It should be out in August, so stay tuned for a public screening.

Transit Riders Get Out The Vote!

July 9, 2015

This month, TRU is getting out the vote for candidates we’ve endorsed in the primary elections for City Council. Want to help? Email contact@transitriders.org or leave a message at 206-651-4282.

Getting ready to head to 3rd Ave bus stops!

Ready to head to 3rd Ave bus stops!

Vote Jon Grant for Citywide Position 8!

Vote Jon Grant for Citywide Position 8!

Re-Elect Kshama Sawant for District 3!

Re-Elect Kshama Sawant for District 3!

Then we joined a picket in solidarity with Macy's workers!

Then we joined a picket in solidarity with Macy’s workers.

Open Letter to Jeff Bezos

July 7, 2015

As part of a broad campaign to push Amazon to be a better neighbor, TRU’s General Secretary Katie Wilson wrote an open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, published in Crosscut this week:

Dear Mr. Bezos… Seattle is changing. Fast. And Amazon, which could employ 70,000 in our city by 2019, is indisputably a major driver of that change. But where exactly are we headed? And what will life in our city be like when we get there?

These are questions more and more Seattleites are starting to care about, especially those of us who don’t bring in six-figure – or even five-figure – incomes. And these are questions Amazon has good reason to care about too, since what happens to our city and the people who live here will determine the sustainability of Amazon’s growth.

I think a lot about the future of our city through my work with the Transit Riders Union, an independent, democratic member-run union organizing to improve public transit in our region. Seattle is rapidly becoming a world-class city, and we urgently need a world-class transit system. But our transit infrastructure and service are struggling to keep up with growing ridership…

Read the whole thing in Crosscut here!

Transit Riders, Unite!

The Transit Riders Union is an independent, democratic, member-run union of transit riders organizing for better public transit in Seattle, King County and beyond. Through our organizing efforts we won a low income fare! We invite you to join us and fight for the future of public transit!

Our City Coalition Inaugural Event: How Will YOU End Homelessness?

June 26, 2015
Hat 'n Boots Park in Georgetown

Hat ‘n Boots Park in Georgetown

Marching to End Homelessness

Marching to End Homelessness

On Monday, June 29, the new Our City Coalition will hold a rally, candidate speak-out and sleep-out starting at 5:30 PM at Hat ‘n Boots (Oxbow) Park in Georgetown, 6430 Corson Ave S.

You’re invited! RSVP on Facebook here.

Over a dozen candidates for city and county council will be there to speak about the crisis of homelessness and what must be done to end it.

In July 2005, with great fanfare, King County launched a “Ten Year Plan” to end homelessness. At the end of June 2015, those ten years come to a close. So, how are we doing?

The January 2015 One Night Count showed 3,772 homeless people were sleeping on the street without adequate shelter, an increase of 20% over last year. Including those in shelters and transitional housing, over 10,000 people in King County are known to be homeless. This is unacceptable. We can do better.

With this event we will be marking the end of the Ten Year Plan – and the beginning of real solutions to homelessness, solutions that start with homeless people and community allies, organizing, advocating, and helping ourselves and each other.

The rally and speak-out will begin at 6:30 PM, preceded by a community meal at 5:30 PM, and followed by an overnight sleep-out. We invite supporters and candidates to spend the night! Mats and blankets will be provided.

The following morning, Tuesday, June 30, the Our City Coalition (formerly Occupy CEHKC) will proceed to march to the Governing Board Meeting of the Committee to End Homelessness, 8:30 AM, 6737 Corson Ave S.

Shaping the Future of Northgate

June 15, 2015

June 15, 2015

Dear Sound Transit Board Members and Seattle City Councilmembers:

The Transit Riders Union strongly supports a Northgate Pedestrian/Bike Bridge over I-5. We urge you to develop a realistic finance plan for this bridge to ensure that it is designed and built in a timely manner as part of the Northgate station construction.

We also urge Sound Transit to site a station at 130th Street along the north corridor light rail extension, to improve access from Pinehurst, Lake City, Bitter Lake and other North Seattle neighborhoods using local transit connections; and to put the south Shoreline station at 155th Street with no parking garage. This will keep the station away from the I-5 interchange at 145th to minimize conflict and delay from congested traffic. Continue reading

Primary Endorsements

June 12, 2015

At our June Membership Meeting, TRU completed our endorsement process for the August 4 Primary Election.  We made endorsements in seven of the nine City Council races:

Transit Riders Union Endorsements
for Seattle City Council, Primary Election

Dist. 1: Lisa Herbold
Dist. 2: Josh Farris
Dist. 3: Kshama Sawant
Dist. 4: Michael Maddux
Dist. 5: Mercedes Elizalde or Halei Watkins
Dist. 6: Mike O’Brien
Dist. 7: no endorsement
Pos. 8: Jon Grant
Pos. 9: no endorsement

Want to volunteer with TRU to campaign for progressive candidates like Kshama Sawant and Jon Grant? Sign up here!