Mayor urges federal government to support second Amtrak train

October 12, 2010 | Better Transit

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is calling on the federal government to end the uncertainty that threatens to kill the extremely successful second Amtrak train to Vancouver, and extend the waiver of border crossing fees.

“Keeping the second Amtrak train is a no-brainer,” said Mayor Robertson. “It’s been a success since the pilot program was launched and it’s a boost for Metro Vancouver’s economy. The federal government should end the uncertainty with a positive decision to extend the waiver of border crossing fees.”

The second Amtrak train from Seattle to Vancouver has added more than 20,000 visits to Vancouver during its pilot program; the train will be cancelled unless the federal government waives the crossing fees. Washington State and Amtrak have declared Friday, October 15th the deadline for the government to make its decision. Sales have already been suspended after October 31st.

Mayor Robertson has worked closely with Vancouver business groups, including Tourism Vancouver and the Board of Trade, to underline the importance of the train to the city’s economy.

“A lot of work has gone into this on both sides of the border, and our American partners have worked with us in good faith to keep the second train running,” said Mayor Robertson. “I’ve expressed my concerns to the federal government and I’m hopeful they’ll recognize the benefits the second train brings for our region. At the local and provincial levels we’ve done our part, now we need the federal government to step up and waive the fees. The pilot program has demonstrated the demand is there – so let’s keep the train going."

Photo credit: Steven Vance