April 28, 2019

Cross-state rail service study funding approved

The AAWA proviso to fund a study of cross-state passenger rail service was included in the state transportation budget which passed overwhelmingly today. The study will be the responsibility of the Joint Transportation Committee. We will post more information as it becomes available.

Thanks to everyone who contacted your state representatives on our behalf.

From page 10 of http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2019-20/Pdf/Bills/House%20Passed%20Legislature/1160-S.PL.pdf

(3)(a) $250,000 of the multimodal transportation account—state appropriation is for the joint transportation committee to conduct a study of the feasibility of an east-west intercity passenger rail system. The study must include the following elements:
(i) Projections of potential ridership;
(ii) Review of relevant planning studies;
(iii) Establishment of an advisory group and associated meetings;
(iv) Development of a Stampede Pass corridor alignment to maximize ridership, revenue, and rationale, considering service to population centers: Auburn, Cle Elum, Yakima, Tri-Cities, Ellensburg, Toppenish, and Spokane;
(v) Assessment of current infrastructure conditions, including station stop locations;
(vi) Identification of equipment needs; and
(vii) Identification of operator options.
(b) A report of the study findings and recommendations is due to the transportation committees of the legislature by June 30, 2020.