Vision

We believe everyone should be able to move in our communities, without fear of harassment or police violence. We need essential services located in every community, safe ways to roll or walk everywhere, and reliable, free and accessible public transportation.

How We Organize

We are a coalition of people who lack access to cars from communities throughout Washington State. We believe in a model of change that begins with sharing our stories with each other, and documenting these stories through photo, video and on social media. Our organizing and our stories will begin to shift the narrative that only drivers in Washington State have mobility needs worth prioritizing.

Join Us!

From left to right: Photo of a person riding a bike through a neighborhood. Photo of a person using a wheelcair on a sidewalk with trees in the background. Photo of a person using a cane while walking on a sidewalk. Photo of a person using a wheelchair boarding a Pierce County Transit bus.

Why Us? Why Now?

Our country has been designed around the automobile as transportation, and for those of us who cannot drive or cannot afford to drive, this creates major barriers for us to access school, jobs, medical care, grocery stores, religious services and everywhere else we need to go in order to participate fully in our communities. 

We know that Black, Indigenous and people of color (“BIPOC”), immigrants, poor people, elderly and disabled people are much less likely to have a driver license or access to cars, we are more likely to be transit reliant and more likely to walk or roll for transportation

At the same time, BIPOC, disabled and elderly people, and people living in rural areas and on tribal lands face greater risks of being killed in traffic collisions because our communities lack accessible pedestrian and transit infrastructure. This is compounded by the suburbanization of poverty. People of color, immigrants and low-income disabled people are much more likely to live in areas with higher speed roads, fewer sidewalks, streetlights, or crosswalks and less frequent and reliable transit routes. 

Even where reliable transit and safe pedestrian infrastructure exist, Black, brown and disabled people are forced into encounters with the criminal justice system through discriminatory enforcement of jaywalking and loitering statutes, and through fare enforcement on public transit. This enforcement can escalate into violent and deadly conflicts. And compounding fines, court fees and mandatory court appearances disproportionately harm poor members of our communities. 

Current Priorities

  1. Increase revenue for transportation options that serve those who most rely on public transit. Support legislation for sustainable, progressive funding for transit and walking/rolling infrastructure. Push transit agencies to take pro-equity actions that prioritize BIPOC, immigrant, disabled and transit-reliant populations when deciding how to allocate resources. 
  2. Reduce policing of pedestrians and transit users. Advocate for fare-free transit to eliminate enforcement disparities and the criminalization of poverty. Remove police from traffic enforcement and decriminalize “jaywalking.” Reform fare enforcement to create alternatives to fines and/or progressive fine structures.
  3. Advocate for every community to have accessible sidewalks, crosswalks and transit stops. Demand construction of sidewalks and curb ramps, installation of accessible pedestrian signals and appropriate signal timing for safe crossing. Advocate for the public maintenance of sidewalks and paths to repair cracks and remove debris and snow/ice. Push for funding and installation of bus shelters, benches, trash cans and lighting, prioritizing areas with low transit frequency. 

Additional Work

  1. Eliminate Driver’s License requirements in job postings for positions that don’t require driving in both public and private employers. 
  2. New Mobility That Works for Disabled, BIPOC, Low Income and Immigrant Communities. Ensure on-demand transportation options such as ride hailing (Uber/Lyft), Via to Transit and taxis are accessible and inclusive for disabled and low-income riders and caregivers, provide equivalent levels of service for all users, and do not exploit subminimum wage immigrant and BIPOC labor. Ensure delivery robots and micromobility create benefits and new access points instead of additional burdens for and policing of disabled, BIPOC, low-income and immigrant Washingtonians.
  3. Fight for communities where everyone can afford to live and access essential services. Ensure that investments in expanded public transit access don’t create harms in existing communities. Push for essential services (low-income housing, groceries, childcare, healthcare facilities) in every community.

 

Want better sidewalks, bus stops, and accessible transit services? Text BETTER to 21000

Program Updates

Pierce County Annex Begins Building Last Piece of Missing Sidewalk

October 8, 2020The Disability Mobility Initiative is celebrating as the City of Tacoma and Pierce County have begun construction on the last piece of missing sidewalk to the Pierce County Annex - Pierce County’s accessible voting center.
More program updates