Vancouver, BC is close but not that close. The four-hour drive can be a deterrent for some but thanks to new legislation from Washington Democrats, it could be a thing of the past. That’s because the Cascadia high-speed rail is one step closer to coming to fruition.

Last week Washinton State Democrats unveiled their 16-year, $16 billion “Move Ahead Washington” transportation package which included $150 million dollars for a high-speed rail project. It’s a plan that has been years in the making and, if completed, will connect the Cascadia region including Oregon, Washington, and Vancouver, BC. The train would run at speeds of 250 mph, significantly cutting down on commute time between Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, BC.

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While details on how the allotted funds will be spent are slim, it can be assumed the funds will be used to show commitment to the project as well as to plan further on how the rail line will unfold. State Senator Marko Liias states “The federal government has put ample new resources on the table,” … “We’ve worked very hard to secure Washington’s place in line to secure some of that funding [for high-speed rail].”

So what’s the next step? Washington State has to approve the transportation package and then further action can be taken on how the rail line’s planning will unfold. At this time the goal is to build the rail line by 2035 if everything goes according to plan. So let’s all keep our fingers crossed and hope that a quicker northern and southern commute is in the cards for all of us. You can learn more about Cascadia high-speed rail at their website.