B.C. funds additional $300K for Vancouver-Seattle-Portland bullet train
Published Thursday, February 7, 2019 1:59PM PST
Last Updated Thursday, February 7, 2019 7:01PM PST
An ultra-fast train connecting Vancouver, Seattle and Portland is one step closer to becoming reality.
The leaders of B.C. and Washington state met on Wednesday, announcing the province is committing another $300,000 to helping fund the next phase of an in-depth study of service along the corridor.
"Improving transportation connectivity is a critically important part of the path forward and we're going to keep working together to seize opportunities and strengthen the relationship between Washington state and B.C.," Premier John Horgan said.
The Washington state legislature had previously approved up to US$1.2 million toward the study.
“Our preliminary review is showing this could generate 1.8 million riders in the first few years so we are moving to the next step, which today is looking at a governance structure for a potential rail line,” Gov. Jay Inslee said.
Last December, Inslee announced US$3.25 million will be added in the government’s budget for the development of the high-speed corridor.
“We’re confident and optimistic enough that justifies taking this next step,” he said.
Washington's study pegged the cost of the project at anywhere from US$24 billion to US$42 billion ($31 billion to $54 billion CAD).
It also found the project would create up to 200,000 jobs and generate billions in economic benefits for the province and states involved.
The province had pledged $300,000 in May 2018 for a business case analysis to explore ridership levels, costs and financing. The results of the analysis are expected this summer.
The proposed rail line promises to whisk travellers from Vancouver to Seattle in just under an hour and get to Portland in two hours.