It looks to me like another stop along the slow ride towards high-speed rail in the Cascadia region.
But call this a trial balloon, a feasibility inquiry, a buncha baloney, a perfect dream, filling a hunger for options: whatever, it’s a study by Washington State DoT (and many others, including BC’s MoTI) on tech options, routes and costs for a bullet-like train linking Vancouver, Seattle and Portland. It was presented Thursday, Dec 14, 2017 to the Washington State Joint Transportation Committee. It includes a call for further investment to build a business case.
Video HERE. Report PDF HERE.
Knutson (*) said the idea of rapid rail has high-level support from government in both countries — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier John Horgan have publicly endorsed the concept — as well as from business, labour and environmental leaders.
“This really is about investing in ourselves and in the broader Cascadia region,” he said, “and in these tough, troubled times we need more openness, more connectivity, more trade, not less, and this could really be a powerful symbol.”
In January, the state will receive the results of an economic analysis paid for by private sector money, the majority of which came from Microsoft. “We think that’s going to be really important because in this type of system it can also provide a lot of economic development for our area,” said Ron Pate, director of rail, trade and ports for the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The next step, Pate said, is to conduct a business case study that will look closer at ridership, governance, funding and financial mechanisms. It’s a document that will be used when speaking with future investors.
“Every time we’ve asked the question, ‘Is there a compelling case for this?’ it comes back and says, ‘Yes, keep going,’” Knutson said. “That’s what we hope to do.”
With thanks to Jennifer Saltman in PostMedia outlet the Vancouver Sun.
(*) Charles Knutson, executive policy adviser to Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee.