In a letter delivered to Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Peter van Loan, a cross-border coalition made up of think tanks, business executives and elected officials encouraged the Canadian government to relax customs fees for train travel between Washington State and British Columbia. Cascadia Center’s Bruce Agnew, who also serves as the co-chair of the PNWER Transportation Working Group is among the signatories of the letter.
“…we urge you to expand the fee waiver period from June 1, 2009 to June 1, 2010 to allow commencement of service as proposed by Amtrak and Washington State Department of Transportation.”
As the commencement date for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver approaches, at issue in the immediate short term is the ability of “Amtrak to test and market the service (a second Amtrak Cascades train) during the busy summer tourism and cruise ship season.”
The letter cites a study by the Border Policy Research Institute that found that “implementation of the service over a year would allow the federal, provincial and municipal governments in Canada to collect $1.87 million in GST, PST and room taxes combined as a result of increased passenger travel.”
Click below to read the extended post and the coalition’s letter.