SB 5749


As Reported By Senate Committee On:

Transportation, March 8, 2001


Title:  An act relating to cost‑benefit analysis for transportation planning.


Brief Description:  Adopting cost‑benefit analysis for transportation planning.


Sponsors:  Senators McAuliffe, Horn, Winsley, Oke and Haugen; by request of The Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation.


Brief History: 

Committee Activity:  Transportation:  2/14/01, 3/8/01 [DPS, DNP].



Majority Report:  That Substitute Senate Bill No. 5749 be substituted therefor, and the substitute bill do pass.

Signed by Senators Haugen, Chair; Gardner, Vice Chair; Eide, Jacobsen, Kastama, McAuliffe, Oke, Patterson, Prentice and Shin.


Minority Report:  Do not pass.

Signed by Senators Benton, Finkbeiner, Horn, Johnson and Swecker.


Staff: Jennifer Ziegler (786-7316)


Background:  The Legislature and the Governor formed the Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation in 1998 to assess the local, regional and state transportation system; ensure that current and future money is spent wisely; make the system more accountable and predictable; and prepare a 20-year plan for funding and investing in the transportation system.  The commission consisted of 46 members representing business, labor, agriculture, tribes, government, ports, shipping, trucking, transit, rail, environmental interests and the general public.


The commission made 18 recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature. Recommendation Five outlined several ways to invest in maintenance, preservation, and improvement of the entire transportation system so that transportation benchmarks can be achieved.


The commission specifically recommended using the most cost-effective pavement surfaces based on durability as a way to invest in preservation of the transportation system. To improve the decision-making process for transportation investments, the commission recommended using cost-benefit analysis and travel demand modeling tools.


Summary of Substitute Bill:  Analytic tools must be developed to use a common methodology for measuring the costs and the benefits of all modes of transportation.  The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Transportation Commission must adopt standards for effective programming and prioritization practices using a cost-benefit analysis process.


The preservation program within the WSDOT must require the use of the most cost-effective pavement surfaces based on durability.  The Transportation Commission must develop and use transportation demand modeling tools to evaluate investments.


The WSDOT must conduct multimodal corridor analyses on major congested corridors where needed improvements are likely to cost $250 million before these improvements are included in the statewide multimodal transportation.


Substitute Bill Compared to Original Bill:  Multimodal analysis requirements are included.


Appropriation:  None.


Fiscal Note:  Available.


Effective Date:  July 1, 2004.


Testimony For:  This legislation is a step in the right direction.  Cost-benefit analysis, lowest life-cycle cost, and multimodal analysis are all effective tools.


Testimony Against:  None.


Testified:  Doug Hurley, BRCT; Rick Smith, WSDOT; Bill LaBorde, Transportation Choices.