Dear AAWA Supporters,
I live in Seattle within two blocks of a Metro bus stop and within a short VIA shuttle ride of Sound Transit Link Line 1. I fly about once a month and would prefer to take the light rail, but often can’t as I need to be to the airport before the light rail is open. I think I’ve driven at least 98% of my miles traveled in Washington State just due to trains and buses not being available or convenient enough. That’s more stress, more cost to me, and more cost to the government for the roads and related services. Even as I have worked mostly from home the last 15 years, transit still has not served me well enough to even get me to the closest business district; the 1.3 mile trip requires at least two buses. Walking is great but it doesn’t get the groceries home or work all weather.
Unfortunately, my not-that-great situation is better than that of most Washingtonians. Many of us have given up on everything but cars, either our own vehicles or cabs and rideshares. All Aboard Washington hasn’t given up, and is getting many new and large partners in its pursuit of more and better passenger rail for Washington State.
Shortsightedly, as Ed D'Amato has noted in Ohio, since the 1950’s, transportation policy in both Washington and the US as a whole has generously funded only one form of transportation: driving. Other modes like rail, air, and even buses (which use those very same roads) have declined through the unequal burden placed on them when competing with “free” highways supported with tax dollars but requiring most users to own and maintain private vehicles.
When the decision is made to overwhelmingly favor one form of transportation, people can't choose to get around any other way, creating an endless loop of expensive highway expansions followed by more congestion. We’ve repeatedly watched WSDOT pay for expensive highway expansions, only to have the added capacity disappear in a few years. The same goes for water and sewer lines, sidewalks, and other infrastructure. It's not possible to be fiscally conservative and support only one form of transportation (which also happens to be the most expensive form to maintain).
We need our government to move the state forward by funding more options to driving. This includes AAWA’s proposals for cross-state passenger rail via the Yakima Valley, high speed rail Vancouver BC to Portland, and expanded Amtrak Cascades services along the Vancouver BC to Salem, OR corridor.
All Aboard Washington has persisted and persevered to the point where we are now an organization of long standing. Recently many newer organizations have emerged and become players, and we’re happy about it: the more the merrier as long as we are advancing the same issues. Alone among our state’s rail advocacy organizations, AAWA is a member and individual donor-supported organization. We don’t receive significant funding from government or businesses, and have no long-term grant funding. We get by on a shoestring compared to other organizations.
Please support All Aboard Washington in our work. We need active volunteers, we need calls and letters to elected officials, and we need donations. Our yearly budget is less than $100,000 but our regular income is far less. Only due to a few large bequests and gifts have we been able to continue. AAWA is close to running out of money, without which our advocacy for inter-city passenger rail goes away with no other organizations likely to replace our unique work. Please consider a donation to All Aboard Washington as part of your estate planning, as well as giving what you can afford to give now.
Give online at https://www.aawa.us/support/ or mail a check to
All Aboard Washington
P.O. Box 70381
Seattle, WA 98127-0381
Thanks and regards,
Director Emeritus, All Aboard Washington
P.S. Please join us at the Centralia Depot on Saturday, May 21 for our next General Meeting and Silent Auction – and save these dates!
- August 13, Picnic, Rainier Vista Community Park, Lacey
- October 8, Preview of the 2023 Legislative Session
- December 10, Holiday Party
Check our events page at https://www.aawa.us/events/ to register and for more details.