SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1452







                        52nd Legislature

                      1991 Regular Session



Passed by the House March 8, 1991

  Yeas 96   Nays 0




Speaker of the

       House of Representatives


Passed by the Senate April 18, 1991

  Yeas 45   Nays 0




President of the Senate












Governor of the State of Washington



I, Alan Thompson, Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1452 as passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on the dates hereon set forth.




                                      Chief Clerk











                        Secretary of State   

                       State of Washington  




                            SUBSTITUTE HOUSE BILL 1452





                     Passed Legislature - 1991 Regular Session



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1991 Regular Session


By House Committee on Transportation (originally sponsored by Representatives R. Fisher, G. Fisher, Cole, Fraser, Phillips, Rust, Haugen, Belcher, Hine, R. Meyers, Locke, Riley, Heavey, R. Johnson, Wilson, Betrozoff, Valle, Wynne, R. King, Scott, Cooper, Pruitt, Ogden, Roland, Nelson, Spanel, Brekke and Wineberry).


Read first time February 22, 1991.  Creating the high-speed ground transportation steering committee.

     AN ACT Relating to high-speed ground transportation; amending RCW 47.86.030; creating new sections; making an appropriation; providing an expiration date; and declaring an emergency.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.      The legislature recognizes that major transportation corridors in this state are reaching unacceptable levels of congestion.  Proposed improvements such as extension of the HOV-lane system or regional high-capacity systems, can, at best, only temporarily reduce the rate at which congestion increases.  Further, such improvements do not address cross-state travel demands, whether north-south or east-west.

     Therefore, the legislature finds that 1991 is an appropriate time for the legislature and the governor to direct that a comprehensive assessment be made of the feasibility of developing a high-speed ground transportation system within the state and that a plan be developed for implementation of potential alternatives.

     Congress has set aside federal funds in the amount of five hundred thousand dollars for the state of Washington to carry out such an assessment, with the stipulation that the state provide an equal amount of state funds for the effort.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.      The high-speed ground transportation steering committee is created, consisting of fifteen members, appointed jointly by the governor, the chair of the legislative transportation committee, and the chair of the transportation commission.  The appointing authorities shall also designate the chair of the steering committee.

     The committee must include representatives from the following:

     (1) Cities and counties, including both elected officials and planners, and if possible, representatives of regional transportation planning organizations;

     (2) Public transportation systems;

     (3) The United States department of transportation;

     (4) Public ports; and

     (5) The private sector, including:

     (a) The financial community;

     (b) The engineering and construction community;

     (c) Railroad companies;

     (d) Environmental interests; and

     (e) The legal profession.

     The secretary of the state department of transportation, or the secretary's designee, shall also be a member.

     Members of the steering committee shall receive no compensation for their service, but shall be reimbursed for travel expenses as provided in RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.      The following persons shall serve as voting liaison members to the steering committee:

     (1) The governor or a designee;

     (2) Four legislators, one from each caucus of each house, appointed by the chair of the legislative transportation committee; and

     (3) The chair of the transportation commission.

     In addition to those persons, the governor shall attempt to obtain appropriate nonvoting liaison representation to the steering committee from the state of Oregon and the province of British Columbia.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.      The steering committee shall initially address the feasibility of a high-speed ground transportation system within this state, including such issues as:

     (1) When such a system would be economically feasible;

     (2) The forecasted demand, assessing whether the focus should be on passenger travel or freight or both;

     (3) Identification of the corridors to be analyzed;

     (4) Land use and economic development implications;

     (5) Environmental considerations;

     (6) The compatibility of such a system with regional transportation plans along proposed corridors;

     (7) Impacts on and interfaces with other travel modes;

     (8) Technological options for high-speed ground transportation, both foreign and domestic;

     (9) Required specifications for speed, safety, access, and frequency;

     (10) Identification of existing highway or railroad rights of way that are suitable for high-speed travel;

     (11) Identification of additional rights of way that may be needed and the process for acquiring those rights of way;

     (12) The recommended institutional arrangement for carrying out detailed planning for such a system, for constructing it, and for operating it;

     (13) Whether financing of construction should be public or private or some combination of both;

     (14) Whether financing of operations should be public or private or some combination of both;

     (15) If public sector financing for any portion of capital or operation costs is deemed necessary, which existing or new tax sources would be appropriate.

     The steering committee shall coordinate its work with that of the air transportation commission established in RCW 47.86.030.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.      In order to provide technical and administrative support to the steering committee, the office of high-speed ground transportation is created within the department of transportation.  That office may contract with consultants at the direction of the steering committee and shall provide other support functions as requested by the committee.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.      The steering committee shall present a final report to the governor, the legislature, and the transportation commission by October 15, 1992.  It shall present interim progress reports as appropriate.  The final report must include findings of the steering committee, a recommended plan for implementation, and proposed legislation to implement the next phase of a high-speed ground transportation program.


     Sec. 7.  RCW 47.86.030 and 1990 c 298 s 41 are each amended to read as follows:

     The commission shall conduct studies to determine Washington's long‑range air transportation policy, including an assessment of intermodal needs, and to assess the impacts of increasing air traffic upon surrounding communities, including an evaluation of noise mitigation and surface transportation impacts at existing facilities, and the potential impact at new or expanded facilities.

     The studies shall include, but are not limited to the following:

     (1) The feasibility of acquiring the Stampede Pass rail line for use as a utility corridor, intermodal high speed transportation corridor or other transportation uses.  The study shall include an examination of the ownership of the Stampede Pass rail line right of way and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of preserving the Stampede Pass rail line corridor.  It shall include interested public and private agencies when conducting the study.  The commission shall encourage local communities and the private sector to financially participate in the study. The commission shall make a presentation of the feasibility findings to the legislative transportation committee on or before December 1, 1990.

     (2) Recommendations to the legislature on future Washington state air transportation policy, including the expansion of existing and potential air carrier and reliever facilities and the siting of such new facilities, specifically taking into consideration intermodal needs.  The commission shall consider the development of wayports in eastern Washington, taking into account similar developments in Japan and Germany, in order to reduce congestion resulting from rapid growth in the Puget Sound region.  The commission shall ((examine high speed rail transportation systems, including but not limited to magnetic levitation trains, personal rapid transit systems, and complimentary transportation systems, using to the extent possible the existing rights of way along I‑90, I‑5, and the Stampede Pass rail corridor)) coordinate its study of airport siting policy issues with the efforts of the high-speed ground transportation steering committee.

     The commission shall submit findings and recommendations to the legislative transportation committee by December 1, 1994, with an interim report to be presented to the legislative transportation committee by December 1, 1992.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 8.      The sum of five hundred thousand dollars, or as much thereof as may be necessary, is appropriated from the transportation fund to the department of transportation program T, for the biennium ending June 30, 1993, to carry out the purposes of this act.  The appropriation shall be expended in accordance with the work plan developed by the high-speed ground transportation steering committee created in section 2 of this act.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 9.      Sections 1 through 6 of this act shall expire December 31, 1992.


     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 10.     This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately.