Professional Staff Organization


PSO has a long history of advocating on transportation issues focusing on improving equitable transportation options for professional staff that will ultimately support reducing the university carbon footprint.

PSO maintains a voting representative on the University Transportation Committee (UTC). Having this representation allows PSO to bring professional staff issues directly to university transportation leadership and have influence on transportation-related decisions. You can find PSO’s current UTC representative on our Faculty/ University committee page.

Please let PSO know if you have transportation issues that you would like us to bring to the UTC.

Universal U-PASS

The 2022 adoption of a fully subsidized U-PASS for all faculty and staff is the result of sustained efforts by a coalition of employees and activists over the years. The below timeline outlines PSO’s work on this topic.

2016 – 2019 Laying the groundwork: UW Campus Master Plan advocacy

Over three years, PSO advocated for more UW commitments to public transit, biking, and walking as part of the 2019 Seattle Campus Master Plan (CMP). The CMP, approved by the Seattle City Council and the UW Board of Regents, includes a massive increase in the size of the Seattle campus. Centering public and active transit in this plan was essential to reduce carbon emissions and city gridlock.

  • November 2016: PSO submitted letter to comment on the Campus Master Plan
    • Documented need for transportation growth planning to offset the predicted 3000+ new drivers per day to UW campus
    • Recommended reducing U-PASS out-of-pocket costs for UW faculty and staff and additional investments in walking and biking infrastructure.
  • September 2017: PSO letter to Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection (SDCI)
    • Urged SDCI to decrease the number of single occupancy vehicles (SOV) rate as part of the CMP to compel the university to invest more in public transit subsidies and walking/biking infrastructure.
  • December 2017:  PSO submitted a letter to SDCI Hearing Examiner reiterating the concerns outlined in the September letter.
  • August 2018: Letter and testimony to the Seattle City Council
    • PSO Board Member Matt Weatherford sends letter to Seattle City Council stressing need for a lower SOV Rate *requirement.* If the University did not meet that standard, their building permits would not be issued until the issue was fixed.
    • Testimony in front of Seattle City Council detailing how the suggested CMP SOV rate would permit 34.7% Drive alone rate for UW Staff and advocating for a lower (combined) rate
  • December 2019: City Council approves CMP
  • February 2019: UW Board of Regents passes CMP with new, conditioned, 12% SOV rate included. This was the most important piece of the entire effort and set the stage for the fully subsidized U-PASS that happened 3 years later.

2019 – 2022 Final road to universal U-PASS

After the passage of the CMP, PSO, along with faculty organizations, unions, and local transit advocacy groups, began more targeted advocacy for a fully subsidized U-PASS for all employees.

PSO would like to give special recognition to former PSO Board Member Matt Weatherford who led the UW PSO’s transportation advocacy from 2010 – 2022.

Credits and Partnerships:

This effort would not have been possible without the leadership of SEIU925 and many others. (SEIU925 put together their own advocacy timeline.) The PSO benefited from the efforts of the following individuals and community partners:

We have not worked on these issues alone but as part of a ever changing coalition of community partners: Matt Weatherford, Tim Gould, Josh Cavanagh, Erin Rants, David Goldstein, Stacey Wedlake, Emilie Vrbancic , Carrie Matthews, Linda Whang, Erin Rants, Amy Hagopian, Elizabeth Bauerle, Alicia Halberg, Melanie Mayock, Celeste Gilman, Jacob Brett, Laura Harrington, Charles Treser, Zach Howard, Michael Laslett, David West, Bill Roach, Katie Wilson, Alice Lockhart, Kristen Sharp,  UW Faculty Forward, Seattle Transit Riders Union, U District Alliance for Equity and Livability – comprised of: Beacon Hill United Methodist Church, Church Council of Greater Seattle, Coalition of Immigrants, Refugees and Communities of Color (CIRCC), Eritrean Association in Greater Seattle, Feet First, Laborers Local 242, Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), M. L. King County Labor Council, Puget Sound Sage, Roosevelt Neighborhood Association, Seattle Building Trades Council, Seattle Human Services Coalition, SEIU Local 925, SEIU 6, SEIU Health Care 1199NW, Sierra Club, Teamsters Local 117, Transit Riders Union, United Students Against Sweatshops, UAW Local 4121 (Grad Students), Univ. District Community Council, UNITE HERE (Hotel) Local 8, UW Faculty Forward, UW Young Democrats, WA Community Action Network, WA Federation of State Employees Local 1488, WA State Nurses Association, Representative Nicole Macri.