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Kerri Woehler Rail Planning and Strategic Assessment Manager Rail Division Amtrak Cascades Pacific Northwest High-Speed Rail Corridor Transportation Border.

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Presentation on theme: "Kerri Woehler Rail Planning and Strategic Assessment Manager Rail Division Amtrak Cascades Pacific Northwest High-Speed Rail Corridor Transportation Border."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kerri Woehler Rail Planning and Strategic Assessment Manager Rail Division Amtrak Cascades Pacific Northwest High-Speed Rail Corridor Transportation Border Working Group Detroit, Michigan April 23, 2013 Lynn Peterson Secretary of Transportation Katy Taylor Chief of Staff Ron Pate Rail Division Director

2 Amtrak Cascades Intercity Passenger Rail 467-mile corridor with service between Vancouver, B.C. and Eugene through Seattle and Portland performance: 11 daily trains totaling 4,015 annually Ridership exceeded 830,000 Ticket revenues exceeded $30 m FFY Farebox recovery 64.3% Partnerships make it possible: BNSF and UP own the tracks Amtrak operates the service Talgo and Amtrak maintain equipment Who pays: The states of Oregon and Washington, Amtrak, and passengers pay for the service U.S. and Canada provide funds for border security 2

3 Keys to Success Incremental approach  Adding daily service one round trip at a time  Strategic planning and project development  Seek grants and other funding Collaborative planning and stakeholder engagement Supportive Governor, stakeholders and legislative champions Use of all funding sources available (state and federal) Effective cost management 3 Amtrak Cascades at the International Border. June 29, AaverageJoe/Michael Chu. Flickr. April 16,

4 Preclearance for Amtrak Cascades Saves 10-minutes by eliminating international border train stop Results: Reduced travel time Improved on-time performance Reduces risk of unanticipated delays (can be up to 60 mins) Benefits: Improves convenience for passengers Makes international rail travel a stronger component of the transportation system Supports strategy to increase ridership in our 2 nd largest market Beyond the Border: full preclearance at Vancouver, B.C. for passenger rail 4

5 Intercity Rail Connecting Major Economic Centers 5 Service to and from Vancouver, B.C.: 2 daily round trips Vancouver, B.C. / Seattle Vancouver, B.C. / Portland *Second train introduced in 2009 to support the Vancouver Olympic Games. Made permanent in Seattle/Vancouver, B.C., is 2 nd biggest market for Amtrak Cascades, contributing 13% of total annual revenue Estimated annual economic impact for Vancouver, B.C., is $14 million Vancouver, B.C. (Metro) 2.5 million residents 141,000 on/offs Seattle (Metro) 3.5 million residents 461,000 on/offs Portland (Metro) 2.3 million residents 462,000 on/offs

6 Cross-Border Service is Key to Future Growth 6 Strengths: Strong anchors in population centers Supports regional efforts to improve international travel and trade Key challenges: Passenger inconvenience at the border Slow travel speeds due to infrastructure needs north of the U.S. border Population density adjacent to Amtrak Cascades stations, 2010/2011

7 7 Today: Cost Sharing for , Based on Subsidy Funding Responsibilities Will Change Dramatically October 1, 2013: Section 209 of the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) takes effect: Amtrak’s contribution to operating subsides will be $0 Washington and Oregon will assume 100% of operating subsidies for Amtrak Cascades It is estimated Washington will pay up to $5 million more per year

8 Addressing the Challenges Objectives: Deliver consistently on customer expectations for fast, reliable, and affordable high-speed rail Build revenue to cover the cost of operations Grow ridership in economic centers Pool resources for increased efficiencies Manage costs Strategies: Capital improvements Washington and Oregon corridor approach Washington and British Columbia collaboration 8

9 High-Speed Rail Capital Investments Will Improve Amtrak Cascades Service U.S. federal high-speed rail funds - $794.9 million Supports overall program goal of more frequent and reliable Amtrak Cascades service –Two additional round trips between Seattle and Portland, for a total of 12 trains per day –Improved on-time performance to 88% –10-minute time savings 20 projects in Washington building additional rail-line capacity and upgrading tracks, utilities, signals, passenger stations and advanced warning systems British Columbia: The province’s $67 million investment in the South Fraser Perimeter Road project will eliminate two at-grade crossings 9

10 Corridor Management Approach Washington and Oregon Memorandum of Understanding Appointed Corridor Director Established on-time performance task force –WA, OR, BC, Amtrak, BNSF, UP, Sound Transit, and Talgo State rail plan coordination WSDOT/ODOT monthly team meetings Created and endorsed Cascades Rail Corridor Management Workplan Work on tri-party operating and maintenance agreements is underway 10

11 11 Cross Border Collaboration Washington and British Columbia Joint Transportation Executive Council, established by Governor and Premier Current work program focus: Joint letter requesting the implementation of integrated customs and immigration pre- clearance for passenger rail in Vancouver, B.C. per the stated commitment in the joint federal “Beyond the Border” Action Plan Assess responses to financial operating pressures resulting from the elimination of U.S. Federal Amtrak funding. Options include increasing fares, reducing service, or increasing partner contributions. Deliver capital improvement projects Amtrak Cascades over the Fraser Bridge heading to Vancouver, B.C. Rog45/Roger. Boats N Stuff - Brownsville - Surrey BC. 28 September Flickr. April 16,

12 Priorities for Cross-Border Service Preclearance: Eliminate stop at the border by combining Immigrations and Customs prior to boarding in Canada Unique needs for Amtrak Cascades Well-functioning system already in place - implement the system that already works Other possible focus areas for TBWG working group on passenger rail: PRIIA Section 209 implementation and implications for cross-border passenger rail Strategies for developing and strengthening operating partnerships between states and provinces Rail infrastructure investments in Canada to improve service 12

13 Contact Information For more information please contact: Kerri Woehler Rail Planning and Strategic Assessment Manager Rail Division (360)


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