Pacific NW States to Study Regional High-Speed Rail
High-speed rail from Vancouver to Portland is one step closer to reality.
The province of British Columbia and the states of Washington and Oregon have agreed to support a $1.2 million feasibility study on the Cascadia Rail project, which would connect Vancouver to Seattle before splitting into branches to Portland and Spokane.
At the annual Pacific Coast Collaborative conference, Washington Governor Inslee and BC Premier Horgan touted the economic opportunities promised by the "ultra-high-speed corridor," which they said could offer a one-hour trip between Vancouver and Seattle.
Moreover, Vancouver officials unveiled a $7 billion CAD plan to complete Phase Two of a 10-year vision for regional transportation, which includes expansion of SkyTrain, a new light rail line, and other major projects, and could break ground in 2019. The vision includes extending the SkyTrain Millennium Line underground following the route of the Route 99 B along Broadway, which The Urbanist reports is the busiest bus line in North America.
The ambitious plan represents "an amazing turn of events given the failure of the 2015 Transit Referendum that lost in a landslide amidst disagreement among many in the regional Mayors’ Council about priorities," according to The Urbanist's Stephen Fesler.