Washington state Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond was unanimously elected chair of the States for Passenger Rail Coalition by state transportation directors. As coalition chair, Hammond will work with the other states and transportation advocacy groups to build support for continued funding for passenger rail programs. The States for Passenger Rail Coalition was established in 2000 and is an alliance of 32 state departments of transportation with a mission to promote the development, implementation and expansion of intercity passenger rail services. The coalition played a major role in helping to advance the $8 billion in new funding for passenger rail projects in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Washington state has invested these federal dollars, plus state money, in a passenger rail system that has growing ridership and expanded service between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.
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