[View the entire call to action on our website HERE]

Dear Jeanne —

PLEASE Contact the Washington State Transportation Committee aboutfunding rail in the public interest – NOT ultra-high speed boondoggles for billionaires. 

If utilized properly, rail is our most efficient, cost effective form of land transport. But there is a “right track” and a “wrong track” to take for our rail-based transportation future.

We urge Washington state legislators to REJECT the ultra high speed “Cascadia Innovation Corridor” project. It is NOT an appropriate responseto the climate crisis that requires solutions in the next ten years. Even if this boondoggle gets built, it will have squandered 2-3 decades and tens of billions of dollars on the costly process of land acquisition, eminent domain battles, and construction. Most Washington communities will remain without improved access to better passenger and freight rail. And finally, this ultra-high speed boondoggle would fail to address freight-related wear and tear and the environmental justice harms from diesel trucks.

Instead, we call on our legislators to redirect funds toward advancing plans to implement the Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan. Unlike the ultra-boondoggle above, the Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan is an actual plan, not a promotional campaign developed by self-interested corporations funded by billionaires. It was developed over 30 years and we deserve for it to be updated and fully implemented.

The Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan could be realized within this decade. The plan is designed to be implemented on existing rail corridors, north and south as well as east and west. With $3.25 million added to the transportation budget for the 2021-2023 biennium, the plans that were approved in 2006 could be updated and improved, including the addition of a roadmap for incremental electrification. This will make Washington state ready for federal support as the Biden Administration looks for shovel-ready projects.

Take Action Now:
On Thursday, January 21, at 3:30pm, the House Transportation Committeewill hold hearings on transportation appropriations.
Instructions for attending, testifying or accessing video of the virtual public meeting HERE

PLEASE tell transportation committee leadership and member: 

  • DO NOT further fund the ultra-high speed boondoggle being pushed by Bill Gates, Microsoft, WSP and Inslee.
  • INSTEAD – redirect the $3.25 million dollars they’ve requested to update the Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan
Please contact:
Committee Chair Jake Fey (Jake.Fey@leg.wa.gov,
Vice Chair Sharon Wylie (Sharon.Wylie@leg.wa.gov), and
Ranking Minority Member Andrew Barkis (Andew.Barkis@leg.wa.gov).
Contact info for House Transportation Comm. members HERE
  1. HB 1135 – Making transportation appropriations for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium. (Remote testimony.)
  2. HB 1136 – Making 2019-2021 supplemental transportation appropriations. (Remote testimony.)
Let them know you support the Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan – NOT the ultra-high speed “Cascadia Innovation Corridor” project.

Messages you could choose from and/or modify:

    • “I support adding $3.25 million to the 2021-2023 transportation budget so that the Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan can be updated and the process of implementation can begin. We need a reality-based rail plan, not the Cascadia Innovation” ultra-boondoggle. Now is the time to advance a shovel-ready proposal to unlock federal support for rail in the public interest.”
    • “$3.25 million dedicated to updating the Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan is a far better use of public funds that providing more public funds for the so-called “Cascadia Innovation Corridor”
      Updating the Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan is a crucial step in the reduction of transportation-based carbon emissions in Washington. Because this plan exists for current rail corridors and can be implemented this decade it offers a realistic path toward better rail service for people and freight.”
    • “I support diverting public funds away from the ultra-high speed Cascadia Innovation Corridor project and committing them to passenger and rail freight corridors that serve all of Washington state. We can achieve far more for many more Washington residents if we invest in higher speed, energy efficient freight and passenger rail, truly relieving congestion and wear and tear on our roads. Dedicating the $3.25 million for finalizing the Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan is a smart step to take this legislative session.”

After you’ve contacted committee members, PLEASE utilize this Action Page to let us know how you’ve taken action and any responses you’ve received. 

Thank you so much!

Forward Together!

Bill Moyer

Solutionary Rail Project Lead
-=-=-Backbone Campaign · PO Box 278, Vashon, WA 98070, United States
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