Just weeks after the Washington Legislature committed $1.2 million to a study looking at high-speed rail connecting Vancouver, B.C. to Bellingham, Seattle and Portland, the British Columbia government added more money for the project.
Premier John Horgan was joined by Gov. Jay Inslee during Friday's announcement that B.C. will contribute $300,000 toward the study that will build upon an economic analysis released by Washington state last month. That previous report estimated that a high-speed corridor link could create up to 200,000 jobs for B.C. and U.S. workers, and generate billions of dollars in economic benefits.
Inslee said the study will be finished "within the next year."
Horgan called B.C.'s decision to contribute "a first step and ... a positive step" toward making the rail dream a reality, according to CBC News.
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"This is an opportunity we shouldn't let pass by," he said.
According to a news release from Inslee's office, the new study will look at factors such as ridership levels, system development, delivery methods and financing.
Up to $1.2 million in funding for the new study has been approved by the Washington Legislature.
Proponents say the trains would be capable of running up to 250 mph, cutting a 1/12- to 2-hour commute to 15 to 30 minutes. Besides reducing travel times and traffic congestion, it would benefit businesses on both sides of the border, they said.