The Cascadia region — anchored by the cities of Vancouver, B.C., Seattle, and Portland — is a true mega-region: sharing an ecosystem unrivaled in beauty, proximity to Asia and Pacific markets, and world-class innovation in leading economic sectors.
Yet, growth projections for Cascadia are startling. We expect nearly 4 million more people to move to the region by 2050. If we don’t act now to accommodate this growth, our current problems — traffic congestion, housing affordability, and increasing climate change — will only get worse.
We need to move fast and embrace big, bold ideas that will prepare us for the continued growth to come. Ultra-high-speed rail can be a part of the solution. By literally creating better connections between the anchor cities of Vancouver B.C., Seattle, and Portland (and beyond) and the communities in between, we can catalyze innovation, shared prosperity, and job creation, and help the region to sustain its unique quality of life for future generations.
Benefits: Faster Trips, Opportunity, Equity, and Sustainability
High-speed rail is a uniquely integrative solution that will:
Cut travel times dramatically and better connect Vancouver, B.C., Seattle, Portland, and the communities in between
Provide a new travel option to driving on Interstate 5 and connect to local transit
Address climate change and improve air quality by reducing reliance on car and air travel
Connect people to good-paying jobs and more affordable housing, making our region more equitable
Create 200,000 new jobs in the region
Capitalizing on Infrastructure Investment
For more than five years, a broad group of stakeholders and the states of Oregon and Washington, along with the Province of British Columbia, have been collaborating on a vision of ultra-high-speed ground transportation in the Cascadia region. Washington state has committed funding to serve as a match for federal funds. To make that vision a reality, funding from the federal government is critical. Other regions of the country are developing high-speed rail corridors, and Cascadia has taken the critical first steps, but we need state and federal support now for the United States section.
The U.S. government is providing billions in infrastructure funding for projects like this. We can use federal funding to pay for part of the high-speed rail project — capturing the Pacific Northwest’s fair share.
High-speed rail is a key element of the Cascadia Innovation Corridor initiative, created by multi-stakeholder engagement from the private sector and government as an economic and sustainability priority for the Cascadia region.
Ultra-High-Speed Ground Transportation Studies for Cascadia
The states of Washington and Oregon, along with the Province of British Columbia, and with support from Microsoft and labor unions, have conducted three separate studies on ultra-high-speed ground transportation in the region. These studies looked at the feasibility, ridership projections, economics, and funding options for the project. Learn more about how UHSGT might serve as a catalyst to transform the Pacific Northwest.