Saturday, April 11, 2009

AMTRAK Cascades Vancouver - Seattle

Our friends at Transport 2000 Canada recently wrote to the Federal Minister of Public Safety to address some concerns, as well as some information on fees that the Canadian Border Services Agency(CBSA) wants to charge to service this train. The letter contains some interesting facts and you can check it all out here. I love the fact that they also talked about a White Rock stop! Here's a good quote on the ridership and economic impact of the AMTRAK Cascades:

"Washington State has studied the impact of the first train. American passengers coming to Canada spend money on hotels, meals and transportation, as well as on goods and services they buy. The second train is expected to generate US$18 million visitor expenditures, which means about U $765,000 revenue in GST for the Federal Government. So the Federal Government makes a profit even if we assume the dollar at par.

The trains on the West coast in the US continue to have increased ridership. Total Northwest Corridor ridership was 847,563 in 2008 up 15.4% over 2007. Seattle is well served by trains from all directions, which maybe one of the reasons cruise ships are moving their terminal from Vancouver to Seattle.

Amtrak, thanks to Vice-President Joe Biden, is getting $1.3 billion in improving infrastructure. Washington State hopes to get some of these funds to build a third track between Seattle and Portland so as to speed up the Cascades services.

So why is the Canadian Government being so obstinate in requiring extra fees? ... If it works for trains, why not for planes, buses and passenger cars?"

No comments: