The B.C. government is chipping in more cash for a study of a potential high-speed rail corridor linking Vancouver to Seattle and possibly beyond.
Premier John Horgan announced Thursday that the province will be contributing $300,000 for the next phase of the proposal.
The money will help explore “models for a multi-jurisdictional authority to lead a community-engagement process and preliminary environmental review.”
“We envision high-speed rail coming from Seattle into the Lower Mainland with a terminus in Surrey — the fastest growing community in the Lower Mainland — that would connect to our SkyTrain and other public infrastructure, to get to our airport, to get to downtown Vancouver,” Horgan said.
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The contribution adds to the $300,000 B.C. put towards the project in March 2018, for a business case analysis for the proposal. Results of that analysis are due in the summer.
Horgan made the announcement in Seattle on Thursday at a meeting with Washington state’s governor.
In December, Gov. Jay Inslee’s administration committed US$3.25 million for the development of the high-speed rail corridor linking B.C., Washington and Oregon, which he said a preliminary review showed could generate 1.8-million riders in its early years of operation.
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“It’s based on an optimistic vision of the growth we’re going to have in British Columbia and Washington because we are a world-class community across that border,” Inslee said.
“We have world-class growth, we have 100,000 people moving here every year or two, and we have to have more dense and successful transportation corridors.”
A study on the proposed line in December 2017 found that it could cost as much as $42 billion to build.
A separate economic analysis released by the state of Washington last February suggested the link could create up to 200,000 jobs for U.S. and Canadian workers, while generating billions in economic benefits.