Free Transit For Youth

Dear Neighbor,

With the end of classes and summer just around the corner, kids will be out and about in the community enjoying a break from their studies. Being able to hop on a bus to get to your local pool or park will be free this summer for low-income 8th-12th graders who order a Summer Youth ORCA Pass.

The passes will work on the bus, light rail, water taxi, and more to help young people get around this summer! Students can go online to order their free pass at https://justonetrip.org/summer-pass/.

This free summer low-income youth pass is a great step, but we need to do more.

That’s why I am sponsoring legislation to create a new permanent free bus pass for ALL youth regardless of income.  This new pass should be available for the start of the new school year for all youth up until the age of 19. The pass will work year-round on King County Metro transit services.

Free bus service for youth will be a big and exciting improvement.  It will take a transportation burden off many families and eliminate barriers for many kids. This change is likely to result in more young people riding the bus—and hopefully continuing as adults – reducing traffic congestion and pollution for everyone.

County Funds Local Parks And Pools

As the weather warms up, there is no better time to enjoy local parks, beaches, trails and pools. Being in nature is great for our physical and mental health, but not everyone has easy access to open space and safe places to play. Recognizing the need to maintain and expand our park system, voters recently renewed a parks levy, and the first round of funding has just been approved by the King County Council.

Grants included:

    • $3.5 million for the City of Renton to fund projects at the Henry Moses Aquatic Center, Hazen High School Pool, and Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park;
    • $1 million for three projects in the City of Kent including the Salt Air Vista Park Renovation, Morrill Meadows Park Renovation, and improvements to trails and signs along the Green River Trail and Interurban Trail;
    • $100,000 for the Des Moines Metropolitan Pool District;
    • $100,000 for the City of Tukwila for its Tukwila Teen & Senior Center Study;

These important investments in South King County will help ensure more people can get active, relax in nature and enjoy the beauty of our community.

Empowering Young People

I recently joined Foster High School students for a community discussion facilitated by Teens for Tukwila. We broke out into small groups to discuss topics selected by the teens as important to them. We talked about their concerns with the rising cost of rent and the need for a living wage so that they thrive, not just survive. They shared their fears about sexual assault and their excitement about Tukwila’s proposed youth and senior community center – a place where they could gather with friends outside of school hours.  I was heartened by the thoughtful discussions led by these students and remain committed to ensuring young people continue to have a voice in civic decisions.

That is why I am also continuing my Youth Advisory Council and look forward to welcoming a new cohort of young people this fall. More details about how local youth can become involved will be coming soon.

Now is the perfect time to engage with our work and share your thoughts on legislation before us. My team and I are available via email at dave.upthegrove@kingcounty.gov.

You can watch Council meetings via livestream on the Councils website or on KCTV channel 22. We take general public comment on the 4th Tuesday of every month.

To learn more about testifying before Council go to: https://www.kingcounty.gov/council/committees/full_council.aspx


Dave Upthegrove

King County Councilmember
District 5

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