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AAWA Presentation at Rail Caucus Meeting February 19
AAWA's 2021 Legislative Program February 9
Save our Salmon: Ride the Train February 8
AAWA’s 2021 Legislative Priorities
Restore Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom Cascades Service
Amtrak Cascades passenger rail service north of Seattle has been discontinued for almost a year. WSDOT and BNSF Railroad need to reach agreement to restore Cascades service north of Seattle. Such agreement would provide connections to ferries (San Juan and Island Counties) and destinations beyond..
Complete the Cascades Long-Range Plan
To meet our climate goals and to address mobility injustice, we must include more passenger rail service in our planning. Washington has fallen behind on implementing the 2006 Long-Range Plan for Amtrak Cascades. Last year's Washington State Rail Plan (2019-2040) states, "More planning is needed to develop an intercity passenger rail system in Washington" (p. 52). Planning should include consideration of a regional network that includes service to cities such as Walla Walla and Boise. We must recommit to realizing the Long-Range Plan this decade.
Build upon the 2020 East-West Study
Implementing East-West passenger rail service requires a detailed analysis to determine the social and economic value of such service including reduced carbon dioxide emission, reduced road maintenance, reduced vehicle miles traveled, and the value of providing a public transportation service to underserved rural areas of our state.. These subjects were outside the scope of the July 2020 STEER feasibility report.
Form a Rail Advisory Committee
Rail stakeholders in Oregon provide feedback to a rail advisory committee that reports directly to ODOT. WSDOT has expressed interest in creating a similar passenger rail advisory committee to improve communication with the public. This is similar to the addition of a freight rail advisory committee under consideration this year.