Joint Transportation Committee

Active Studies  

Private Ferry Between Washington State and Vancouver B.C.  
The Washington State Legislature has directed the Joint Transportation Committee to conduct a feasibility analysis of authorizing a private ferry service to provide service between Washington State and Vancouver Island in lieu of the current Anacortes-Sidney run provided by Washington State Ferries (WSF). The study will include the following elements:

  • Impacts of terminating Anacortes-Sidney run to WSF ridership, revenues, and expenses;
  • Options for encouraging private auto ferry service between Washington and B.C. including:
    • Expected impacts to fares;
    • Possible terminal locations on Fidalgo Island
  • Local/regional impacts to:
    • Ferry service to the San Juan Islands;
    • Economy of the Anacortes area;
    • Economy of the San Juan Islands;
    • Family wage jobs in the marine industry
  • Legal analysis of all state, federal, or contractual, or Canadian laws or rules, including the Jones Act and rules of the board of pilotage commissioners, that may apply to initiation of private service or cessation of state service.
Budget:                        $245,000
JTC Staff:                      Paul Neal
STC & HTC Staff:         Daniel Masterson; Beth Redfield   
Report due date:       February 15, 2021

Rail Safety Governance Best Practices     
The Washington State Legislature has commissioned a study to analyze and generate recommendations for rail safety governance in Washington state. The study must assess rail safety governance for passenger and freight rail, including rail transit services, and must consider recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in its 2017 Amtrak Passenger Train 501 Derailment Accident Report.

The study will include:
  • A description and assessment of the current roles and responsibilities of federal, state, regional and local agencies, their organizational structures and processes, and interagency coordination efforts.
  • A description of the anticipated effects of the adoption of 49. C.F.R. Part 270 on these roles and responsibilities.
  • Consultation with agencies involved in rail safety oversight.
  • An examination of rail safety governance best practices in other states including safety oversight of rail project design and construction.
  • Development of recommendations for the implementation of best practices for rail safety governance in Washington state.
Budget:                          $230,000
JTC Staff:                        Dave Catterson
STC & HTC Staff:           Daniel Masterson; Jennifer Harris
Report due date:         January 6, 2021

Electrification of Public Vehicle Fleets
ESHB 1160, Sec, 204(2) directs the Joint Transportation Committee to conduct an analysis of the electrification of public fleets in Washington State. The study will look specifically at the vehicle fleets owned by the State of Washington, cities, counties and transit agencies. Elements of the study will include:

  • An inventory of existing fleets that includes fuel, engine and vehicle type
  • A review of currently available electric vehicle alternatives for vehicle types most commonly used in the public fleets
  • The projected costs of achieving substantial conversion to battery and/or fuel cell electric vehicles by 2025, 2030 and 2035
  • Identification and analysis of financing mechanisms that could be used to finance the transition of publicly owned vehicles to battery and fuel cell electric vehicles
  • The predicted number and location profile of electric vehicle fueling stations needed statewide to provide fueling for the public fleets.

An advisory group will help guide the study. Membership will include representatives from the JTC, House and Senate Transportation Committee staff, the Department of Enterprise Services, Washington State Department of Transportation, the Department of Licensing, the Department of Commerce, the Washington State Association of Counties, the Association of Washington Cities, the Washington State Transit Association, transit agencies, and others as deemed appropriate.

Budget:                          $450,000
JTC Staff:                        Dave Catterson, Paul Neal
STC & HTC Staff:           Kim Johnson; Dave Munnecke
Report due date:         September 30, 2020

Statewide Transportation Needs Assessment
ESHB 1160, Sec, 204(1) directs the Joint Transportation Committee to conduct a comprehensive assessment of statewide transportation needs and priorities, and existing and potential transportation funding mechanisms to address those needs and priorities. This study includes two phases.  Phase I is to be completed by June 30, 2020 and will include:

  • Recommendations on the critical state and local transportation projects, programs, and services needed to achieve an efficient, effective, statewide transportation system over the next ten years;
  • A comprehensive menu of funding options for the legislature to consider to address the identified transportation system investments; and
  • An analysis of the economic impacts of a range of future transportation investments.

For Phase II a JTC-appointed commission or panel shall review the assessment from Phase I and make final recommendations to the legislature for consideration during the 2021 legislative session on a realistic, achievable plan for funding transportation programs, projects, and services over the next ten years including a timeline for legislative action on funding the identified transportation system needs shortfall. Phase II is to be completed by December 31, 2020.

Budget:                           $450,000
JTC Staff:                         David Ward, Dave Catterson
STC & HTC Staff:           Hayley Gamble; Amy Skei
Report due date:          Phase I - June 30, 2020
                                          Phase II – December 31, 2020

Vehicle Sub-Agents
ESHB 1160, Sec, 204(4) directs the Joint Transportation Committee to conduct a study of vehicle subagents in Washington State. The study must consider and include recommendations, as necessary, on the following:

  • The current process of selecting and authorizing a vehicle subagent, including the change of ownership process and the identification of any barriers to entry into the vehicle subagent market;
  • The annual business expenditures borne by each of the vehicle subagent businesses since fiscal year 2010 and identification of any materials, including office equipment and supplies, provided by the department of licensing to each vehicle subagent since fiscal year 2010;
  • The oversight provided by the county auditors and/or the Department of Licensing over the vehicle subagent businesses;
  • The history of service fees, how increases to the service fee rate are made, and how the requested fee increase is determined;
  • The online vehicle registration renewal process and any potential improvements to the online process;
  • The Department of Licensing's ability to provide more5vehicle licensing services directly, particularly taking into account6the increase in online vehicle renewal transactions;
  • The potential expansion of services that can be performed by vehicle subagents; and
  • The process by which the geographic locations of vehicle subagents are determined

An advisory group will help guide the study. Membership will include representatives from the JTC, House and Senate Transportation Committee staff, the Department of Licensing, county auditors, vehicle subagents and others as deemed appropriate.

Budget:                          $275,000
JTC Staff:                        Paul Neal, David Ward
STC & HTC Staff:           Bryon Moore; Beth Redfield
Report due date:          September 30, 2020

Two Day Tour by Charter Bus with Optional 3rd day in Victoria
The JTC will organize and host a charter bus tour on October 2 and 3.  This year we are visiting the Kitsap and Olympic Penninsula to visit state and local transportation projects and learn about regional issues with an emphasis on fish passage.  We are also providing an optional 3rd day in Victoria on October 4, primarily to discuss cross-border transportation issues.   

Budget:             Existing funds
JTC staff:           Paul Neal with all JTC staff as back-up
Tour dates:      October 2 and 3 with optional 3rd day in Victoria on October 4