Research clearly shows that our neighbors want more and better trains.
January 12, 2022
Evergreen State voters are supportive of making major investments to improve Amtrak Cascades intercity rail service as well as building a more expensive ultra high speed rail line to connect the region’s major metropolitan hubs, recent polling conducted for the Northwest Progressive Institute has found.
In a study prepared for the Washington State Joint Transportation Committee, survey respondents were generally supportive of the project. A sizable majority (70.4%) of participants agreed they would try the service. Only 4.4% of participants were somewhat opposed or strongly opposed.
A survey conducted by Central Washington University in communities along the line found strong support for restored services. Support was strongest in Yakima, which not coincidentally is the largest metropolitan area in the Pacific Northwest without scheduled passenger rail services. For respondents from east of the Cascades, the predicted number of train trips per year to the Seattle area and beyond (e.g., connecting to the Amtrak Cascades between Eugene and Vancouver, BC) averaged 18. For respondents from west of the Tri-Cities, the predicted number of train trips per year to the Tri-Cities and beyond (e.g., the Amtrak Empire Builder between Portland and Chicago) averaged 10. The survey found that projected use of rail services was consistent across income groups but substantially higher among younger respondents than older ones.