Thurston County's population is projected to grow by 140,000 people over the next 20 years. Much of the growth will occur within the cities of Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and Yelm, including South Thurston County. To meet our community's transportation needs, we must plan for a 63% increase in population and how best to serve the nearly 375,000 residents expected throughout the county.
Changes to our Communities
The increase in population and shift in demographics of residents will affect not only where we live, but also the way we travel from our homes to our friends, places of employment, shopping areas and social and community services.
Challenges to Consider
- Our community is aging. By 2030, people over the age of 65 are expected to make up 27% of Thurston County’s population compared to 15% today.
- Projected weekday travel patterns estimate over 30,000 commuter trips heading north to Pierce and King Counties compared to 19,000 trips coming into Thurston County. Traffic congestion and delays along I-5 could drop speeds down to 15 mph for extended periods of time.
Better Transportation Requires Planning
How can we keep up with demand both inside and outside our service area?
- There are an increasing array of technological advances affecting the way people get around. App-based car services and similar innovations offer new challenges...and opportunities. What services or combination of services will most efficiently take people where they need to go?
- Any future service expansion or new forms of transit will require considerable investment. What are the most affordable ways to finance growth while maintaining service and attracting new riders?
- 32% of our riders use transit to get to work. How can we help more people get to and from their jobs?
- 63% of Intercity Transit's budget comes from local sales tax. Can more diverse funding sources be considered?
Want More Information?
Our current Strategic Plan (2017 – 2022) and Existing Conditions Report can be viewed here. The "Plans, Publications, Fact Sheet" page also provides additional information regarding our most recent market analysis, customer satisfaction reports, sustainability efforts and other topics.