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January 1999 General Meeting Minutes

January 1999 General Meeting Minutes

Washington Association of Rail Passengers

January 9, 1999

University Plaza Hotel, Seattle

Meeting Minutes

In President Chuck Mottís absence, the meeting was chaired by Vice President-West Dennis Fait.

Approval of the December meeting minutes was tabled as they had not been distributed.

Tentative sites and dates for the rest of the 1999 meeting were discussed and approved.

Hans Mueller presented the Treasurerís Report.

Mike Skehan gave the transit report. The next Commuter Rail Section meeting is January 21, 6:30 p.m. at Andyís Diner. Seattle-Everett Sounder service will be delayed 6-12 months due to environmental issues in areas along Puget Sound where double tracking is needed. Mike feels the Seattle-Tacoma service is also behind schedule. Station construction should have started in Kent and Auburn in December and it didnít. He also discussed the LINK light rail routing issues in Tukwila. Sound Transitís preferred alternative in the draft EIS is along SR 99. The city and most of the citizens favor a more easterly alignment that would service the Longacres Sounder/Amtrak station and South Center Mall.

Noel Hancock gave a report on the latest Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee meeting held in Chicago. Amtrak told the committee that a big new marketing plan is due out soon, but Amtrak is keeping it under wraps for now. There will big changes in the way Amtrak does marketing. He says many members keep pushing Amtrak to realize there is life west of Appalachian Mountains. Amtrak has been very slow to implement any of the numerous customer improvement suggestions that ACAC has made.

It was noted that Amtrak Cascades service between Seattle, Portland and Eugene would start on January 11. Seattle-Vancouver service wonít start until at least January 18.

Rich DeGarmo introduced Doras Briggs from the Bay Area. Doras is a director of both NARP and the Train Riders Assoc. of California. She urged us to send letters to our senators asking them to urge the president to nominate Art Lloyd, a long-time and now-retired Amtrak employee, for the Amtrak board. Currently, no one from the West serves on the board. (For many years Art was the only Amtrak management representative west of Chicago.)

Doras talked about North Carolinaís on-board train host program. She was to see the next day how our station volunteer program works at Centennial Station. She is working on a proposal to allow volunteers at stations that have Amtrak staff already. Martinez used to have people who watched trains at the station and helped passengers with luggage and information. However, one stepped over the line and went behind the ticket counter. An Amtrak manager caught the person and banned these people from helping the passengers in any way. Martinez has 22 trains a day and no more than two agents on duty so the volunteers really helped out.

Doras said Amtrak has many problems and its time to start looking at them with a new perspective. She is still working hard on getting the American Assoc. of Retired Persons to support intercity rail passenger service.

Executive Director Lloyd Flem gave his report. See attached outline for the points in his discussion.

Lloyd noted the WashARP member Phil Meany has been appointed president of Destination Centralia. This group works to promote Centralia as a shopping destination for their outlet stores and antique shops. It is responsible for the program that has brought thousands of shoppers to Centralia by train in recent years.

Hal Cooper plans to write a proposal for better rail interconnectivity in the Olympia-Lakewood-Tacoma corridor supporting use of the BNSF Prairie line versus the Pt. Defiance line.

Executive Director's Report to WashARP Saturday 9 January, 1999

A. Rail Service Update

"Friends of Amtrak" Feature Article for 8 January 1999

1. New Trains January 11 Monday. The delay? WashARP help!

2. RidershipNumbers Continue Up

3. On cooperation with Oregon (Trans-Comm, Legis, ODOT, AORTA etc.)

B. 1999 Legislature and Congress

I. U.S. Congress, National Prospects. Stronger role for PNW Delegation. Amtrak Board and Reform

Council. Al Swift--WashARP role.

2. Washington State Legislature. Significant Changes(Maps and Lists) Policies, Strategies, Tactics. WashARP's Role as "Educators"!

3. Oregon and Montana Legislatures.

C. WashARP's Policy Making-1999

I. Chuck Mott- Governor's Blue Ribbon Committee

2. L.H.F.- WSTC's Transportation Stakeholder's Advisory Council

3. Jim Neal Coordinator of E. WA Feasibility Study Effort

4. WashARP Information, Views, Strategy Sought!

D. Cascadia Conference December 15-16

1. Progress in B. C.?

2. Broader Support for Rail

3. Establishment understanding of Transportation Issues

E. Local Issues

1. Amtrak in new Pasco Station?

2. Centennial Station's North Parking Lot

3. Vancouver Washington "Guarenteed" Transit Bus Too Costly

4. WSDOT Rail Office "Victory" in Winlock, Implications.

5. Warren Yee's Work-Central Link

6. Phil Meany- Centralia. Bikes, Trains, Destination Centrailia.

F. Alliances

1. AAA(Follow Up Needed)


3. MPO'S

4. Cascadia-Paul Schell, Ron Sims

5. Big Biz gets Religion!

6. Amtrak's People-Doug Schwab to Gil Mallory

7. Transit, Motorcoach, Bike etc. Communities

G. Book Reviews

1. Washington State Freight Rail Plan Update 1998

2. Railway Technical Review August-December 1998

3. Toward Suitable Transportation-Vancouver 1996

4. High Speed Trains, British 1993

5. Amtrak:The History and Politics of a National Railroad David C Nice 1990

6. The Geography of Nowhere; Asphalt Nation

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