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Snohomish-Woodinville excursion train an 11-mile opportunity

Originally published at HeraldNet

It's been a tough time with a double dose of funding challenges for transit. Local agencies like Community and Everett Transit have reduced services because of the enduring economic downturn. And Congress eliminated "earmarking" for special projects and tightened transit funding in new, two-year legislation.

We believe that every financial crisis represents an opportunity. Public-private partnerships to leverage taxpayer-funded transportation programs with private development and infrastructure investment are the new political reality. We have an opportunity in the eastside, in the Snohomish to Woodinville area, to make such an investment. Let us explain:

Nationally, public-private partnerships are working for toll roads, bridges and freight projects … and now transit. The Denver area's FasTracks program is adding 140 miles of rail and bus service by leveraging a 2004 voter-approved sales tax with federal loan guarantees and private sector partnerships, including Denver's Union Station.

The power of the real estate market to marry common goals in transportation and land use is also emerging as a political force. Nationally, real estate professionals (locally led by the Urban Land Institute) and transit advocates co-promote "walkable, transit oriented communities" in traditional suburban, mid- and small-sized town centers. They say resuscitating the real estate industry through changes in federal tax and transportation policies is the fastest way to general economic growth.

Continue Reading at HeraldNet

Bruce Agnew

Director, Cascadia Center
Since 1993, Bruce Agnew has been leading the Northwest Cascadia initiative serving as director of the Cascadia Center in Seattle. The Center is a private, non-profit, public policy center engaged in regional and international transportation and technology. Bruce also co-chairs of the Transportation Group for the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) – a public private partnership of ten Northwest states and Western Canadian provinces/territories. Since 2017, he has served as director of the ACES NW Network dedicated to the acceleration of ACES (Autonomous-Connected-Electric-Shared) technology in transportation.