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Cost of Proposed High-Speed Rail Connecting Vancouver-Seattle-Portland Would Be $42 Billion

High-Speed Train

It can be a hassle for Vancouverites to get down to Seattle. As a result, the idea of a high-speed rail linking the cities was met with plenty of enthusiasm.

With that being said, not everyone was a met of the idea. Premier John Horgan took some issue with the ease of travel. “If we’re going to have high-speed rail, we’re going to need to have border checks, customs activity, done along the way,” he said. “If we stop for an extended period of time at the border, we’re defeating the purpose.”

Indeed, the project would be a massive undertaking, and it would still involve a substantial wait at the border. Moreover, the cost of its construction would be staggering.


The Cost of A High-Speed Rail

Although there was a great deal of speculation, no one really had an answer as to how much the rail would cost. While there still isn’t a definitive answer, a study was conducted to determine roughly how much it would cost to finance the project. The  study was conducted over five months, with Washington state covering $300,000 of the cost associated with research. Microsoft covered the remaining $50,000 for the study.

In total, it concludes that the project could cost anywhere between $24 billion to $42 billion U.S.

The report, which was released on Friday, mentions how the three major cities are significantly growing business centres.

“Seattle and Portland have relatively large central business districts, especially when compared with other U.S. metros with much larger populations, such as Los Angeles, Houston, and Dallas. For example, in 2010, Seattle’s central business district (CBD) ranked ninth in the nation and supported 700,000 jobs within 10 miles of the city center. Portland’s CBD ranked 14th in the nation and supported 650,000 jobs within 10 miles (16 km) of downtown.10 Vancouver, BC, supports a similar number of jobs with 600,000 jobs being located within 10 miles (16 km) of its CBD,” WSdot concludes.

In addition, the report states that these three largest metropolitan areas in the Cascadia megaregion are growing at a rate much faster than expected. As a result, making transportation more expedient would be a boon to the local economies.


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