The need for passenger trains in the Pacific Northwest has never been more urgent. All Aboard Washington’s (AAWA’s) goal is to make passenger rail service safer, more comfortable, more reliable, faster, and more frequent. As a consumer-oriented passenger rail advocacy group, AAWA supports continued investment in the Amtrak Cascades service because travelers across the Pacific Northwest want it. AAWA knows that the Cascades’ success depends on it being a functional, regional rail system that enables many trip possibilities. Local, state, provincial, and national agencies need to work together to realize this system’s full potential and maximize its benefits.
Establish Dedicated Funding
Regional systems require equitable, dedicated funding sources from each of its partners. AAWA urges all benefactors of the Cascades, including British Columbia, to establish stable, dedicated funding sources to ensure the continued success and growth of Cascades services.
Create a Rail Commission
State-sponsored intercity trains like the Cascades make sense for towns big and small across the Pacific Northwest. AAWA believes that numerous exciting opportunities exist for Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia to collaborate on regional rail infrastructure and service investments that create mutual benefit. Congress can establish a regional rail commission that unifies the needs and visions of many partners and leverages federal funding to turn projects into reality.
Connect With Local Transit
The Cascades is all about making connections. AAWA encourages the agencies that interface with Amtrak to craft a larger grid of transportation services by improving existing connections and creating new ones. AAWA particularly supports local transit integration, like early morning SkyTrain service to Pacific Central Station in Vancouver; regional service that bridges the gap between the eastern and western halves of Washington and Oregon; and timed connections to the national Amtrak system via Boise, Salt Lake City, Denver, and beyond.