February 27, 2023

AAWA News, February 2023

Your Chance to Comment on FRA Study to Restore Discontinued Amtrak Routes

The Federal Railroad Administration’s Amtrak Daily Long-Distance Service Study is underway. We urge you to review the meeting materials collected so far, particularly regarding restoration of the North Coast Hiawatha and Pioneer services. Make your comments via the web form on the study homepage or by email at [email protected]. The deadline is March 17, 2023.

What Changes are in Store for Transit, Rail, and Ferry Travel in 2023?

AAWA participated in the meeting of the North Sound Transportation Alliance, held February 17, 2023., featuring a discussion of transportation options for the North Sound region (Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, Island, and Snohomish Counties). Selected slides from the presenters are available on our website.

  • Does transit have long-COVID? Ridership trends and scenarios going into 2023 — Shawn Harris, Island Transit; Tom Hingson, Everett Transit; Tim Wilder, Whatcom Transportation Authority; Brad Windler, Skagit Transit
  • Update from WA State Representative Joe Timmons, 42nd District, Vice-Chair, House Transportation Committee
  • The return of Amtrak Cascades to Vancouver, B.C. and continued planning for high- speed rail — Jason Beloso, WA State Department of Transportation Rail Office
  • Updates on service, workforce development, and new vessel and capital projects for WA State Ferries — Carmen Bendixen and Justin Resnick, WA State Ferries

AAWA distributed a short introduction about our organization.

Triple the Benefit to AAWA When you Donate this Month

The train is approaching the station! Don't forget that AAWA will receive triple the benefit when you donate this month, thanks to generous matching donors. All donations made throughout February (up to $9,000) will be matched twice, tripling the power of your donation. Please support us by Tuesday at https://www.aawa.us/support/

The 2023 Train Trek Goes to College(s) to Spread the Word on Opportunities for Improved Transportation 

There are unprecedented funds available for transportation improvements under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). Many communities are unfamiliar with these opportunities. AAWA, in cooperation with The Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates (AORTA) and All Aboard Northwest (AANW) is working to spread the word, because a safe, robust, seamless transportation system will bring significant economic, environmental and equity benefits to communities of all sizes.

The 2023 Train Trek series will focus on colleges. The exact itinerary is still being planned, but we anticipate holding events at such institutions as:

  • Western Washington University, Bellingham
  • University of Washington, Seattle
  • University of Washington, Tacoma
  • Central Washington University, Ellensburg
  • Eastern Washington University, Cheney
  • Washington State University, Pullman
  • Gonzaga University, Spokane
  • Whitman College, Walla Walla
  • Washington State University, Tri-Cities
  • Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, Yakima
  • Heritage University, Toppenish

Let us know if you can recommend other institutions that would be good to visit. We’re looking for on-campus host organizations and sponsors. Please support us today to make our Train Trek happen!

Legislative Testimony

AAWA, AORTA and AANW are working together to provide testimony on several rail-related bills in the Washington and Oregon Legislatures. Follow the AANW Legislation Tracker for the frequently-changing status on these bills. Meetings of the Washington and Oregon Rail Caucuses are in the works.

Other News

Oregon lawmakers introduce bill that would require ultra-high-speed rail project to extend to Eugene

Amtrak passenger recounts frustrating trip to Portland

A part of Pacific Northwest Rail history rolls into Snoqualmie

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