It looks like Washington State, once a transportation leader, is now taking the lead from Arkansas and the other southern states that would not know what a passenger train looks like. Put this down to the vice grip of highway speical interests and a permanent “public be damned” attitude.
WSDOT Headquarters – News
310 Maple Park Ave. SE Olympia, WA 98504-7407, 360-705-7000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2009
Contact: Scott Witt, State Rail and Marine Director, 360-705-6903
WSDOT restructures State Rail and Marine Office
OLYMPIA –The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announced today that it has restructured the State Rail and Marine Office to improve efficiencies and service, eliminating a total of four positions; three vacant positions and the position of Rail Passenger manager.
“Rail, both passenger and freight, is a critically important component of the state’s transportation system”, said Scott Witt, State Rail and Marine Director. “We don’t take these moves lightly. But we believe this restructure allows us to combine and focus all of our assets in support of Washington’s rail program”.
An internal review and a survey of stakeholders revealed that the top three services that the State Rail and Marine office should focus on are freight and passenger rail planning, rail project management, and targeted communications.
The office has been segmented into three operating teams responsible for data and strategic planning, financial management, and delivery/project management. Moving forward, the State Rail and Marine Office will continue to focus on aggressively pursuing federal stimulus funding referencing the Amtrak Cascades Long Range Plan, the recently released Amtrak Cascades Mid Range Plan, and the department’s strategic project list in accordance with Legislative directive.
The State Rail and Marine office directs and manages the state’s freight and passenger rail capital programs and operations. It enacts the direction of the Legislature as it impacts rail and marine initiatives and manages rail system improvements that support economic development, move people and goods, relieve road and airport congestion, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The department works with railroads, ports, communities, and other organizations to improve the state’s rail system. WSDOT is also responsible for rail project identification, strategic rail transportation planning, development of state rail and marine data, and state grant programs administration.
And that’s it from the Department of Double Speak.
Washington’s Truck Department newspeak no longer allows for the word “passenger” when associated with the word “rail.”