Opportunities and Challenges
The Greater Northwest region must take advantage of today’s opportunities:
- Unprecedented federal funding available for transportation alternatives
- Growing state and local interest in rail and active transportation
- Climate, local economic development, and equity pressures
- Existing rail, road, and urban infrastructure available
Challenges and Needs
Decisions regarding rail are made not only in Washington DC, but also in state capitols throughout the country. In DC, there is excellent representation from the Rail Passengers Association and other groups. But they cannot have a presence in every state capitol. Some states rely on small, volunteer advocacy organizations, while other locations have no organizations at all. Thus, supporters of passenger rail do not have as loud a voice as users of other modes, not because their needs are less important, but because they do not have strong, professional groups representing them. AANW provides the Greater Northwest region with the advocacy it needs.