Joint Transportation Committee

Active Studies  

2021    
Hood River Bridge Bi-State Authority
The Washington State Legislature has directed the Joint Transportation Committee to contract for a legal consultant to analyze and recommend options for the formation of a bistate bridge authority for the purpose of constructing, financing, operating and maintaining a new replacement bridge over the Columbia River near Hood River connecting Klickitat County in Washington to Hood River County in Oregon. The consultant may confer with the Hood River Bridge Bistate Working Group to understand the work and analysis that has been completed.

The legal analysis must identify and recommend statutory authority that would be necessary to allow for the formation of a local government bistate bridge authority or governance structure for the Hood River Bridge replacement that at a minimum may:

  • Issue bonds for bridge construction;
  • Collect tolls; and
  • Secure and administer state or federal grants and loans.

Budget:     $50,000
JTC Staff:     Paul Neal, Dave Catterson
STC & HTC Staff:     Kim Johnson, David Munnecke
Report Due Date:     September 30, 2021     ​
View study materials and information       ​

Broadband Access to State Right of Way    
The Washington State Legislature has directed the Joint Transportation Committee develop strategies for accessing state highway right of way to facilitate universal broadband access. The study must include the following elements:

  • ​Overlay mapping of current broadband infrastructure gaps/underserved areas with state highway map including currently planned projects affording potential for adding broadband infrastructure;
  • Prioritizing broadband expansion opportunities in state highway right of way including finetuning a classification system for unserved and underserved areas;
  • Analyzing costs and value of providing broadband access;
  • Recommending role of WSDOT in a coordinated state agency approach to expanding broadband access;
  • Analysis of relevant​ planning and financing tools;
  • Potential for partnerships between WSDOT and broadband service providers that would also benefit the transportation system;
  • Identification of potential safety, operations, and highway preservation impacts and strategies for mitigating those impacts;
  • Approaches from other states and possible application in Washington;
  • Identifying state and federal laws and regulations relevant to broadband expansion via transportation infrastructure that might be a barrier to the above recommendations and suggested legislative modifications to any barriers.    
Budget:     $210,000
JTC Staff:     Paul Neal, Alyson Cummings
STC & HTC Staff:     Erica Bramlet, Megan McPhaden
Report Due Date:​     January 1, 2022      ​
View study materials and information      

Assessment of State Support for Short Line Rail Infrastructure    
The Washington State Legislature has commissioned a study to update the Washington State Short Line Rail Inventory and Needs Assessment, assess the effectiveness of state support for short-line rail infrastructure and make recommendations to improve and enhance that support.

This assessment must include consideration of current state grant and loan programs, including state investment in nonstate owned short lines, the state's role and investments in the Palouse River and Coulee City (PCC) rail system, and any other ongoing state activities related to short line rail infrastructure.

Budget:    $200,000
JTC Staff:     Dave Catterson, Paul Neal
STC & HTC Staff:     Kelly Simpson, Jennifer Harris
Report Due Date:     By January 1, 2022​         
View study materials and information     


Truck Parking Action Plan
The Washington State Legislature has commissioned a truck parking action plan that includes recommendations for immediate next steps for near-term and lasting change in the availability of truck parking for short-haul and long-distance commercial vehicle drivers who require reasonable accommodations for parking commercial motor vehicles, obtaining adequate services, and complying with federal rest requirements. For each opportunity identified, the action plan must:

  • Assess the magnitude of potential impact;
  • Assess the potential difficulty level of implementation; and
  • Explain barriers to success and specific steps required to overcome them.

The action plan must focus on approaches that would be most impactful and feasible and may include, but not be limited to:

  • Specific cooperative private sector and government actions;
  • Legal and regulatory frameworks at the state level to drive private and/or public-sector action;
  • Incentive-based government programs to spur private sector innovation and investment; and
  • Direct government action at the state, regional, and/or local level.

The action plan will be informed by outreach to representatives of the trucking industry, truck labor organizations, the shipping industry, truck stop owners, ​commercial freight delivery recipients (including warehouse and retail recipients), cities and counties, the Washington State Department of Transportation and the Washington State Patrol.

Budget:     $200,000
JTC Staff:     Alyson Cummings, Dave Catterson
STC and HTC Staff:     Daniel Masterson; Jennifer Harris
Report Due Date:     By January 1, 2022     ​
View study materials and information      


Washington State Ferries Workforce Plan     
The Washington State Legislature has commissioned a study to develop a workforce plan for Washington State Ferries (WSF). Like many employers WSF is grappling with replacing retiring baby boomers and increasing diversity in the workforce. The available pool of employees is further limited by extensive Coast Guard licensing and certification requirements. 

The JTC study requires development of a WSF workforce plan addressing
  • Management of overtime costs;
  • Recruitment;​
  • Retention;
  • Diversity;
  • Training needs;
  • Leadership development;
  • Other elements needed to ensure sufficient and cost-effective crewing and staffing.
Budget:     $300,000 to $400,000
JTC Staff:     Paul Neal, Dave Catterson     
STC and HTC Staff:     Daniel Masterson; Beth Redfield     
Report Due Dates:     Short-term strategies for managing overtime costs: January 1, 2022
                                      Final Workforce Plan: December 20, 2022     
View study materials and information       ​

Car Tabs Payment Options Workgroup    
The Washington State Legislature has directed the JTC to convene a vehicle registration payment work group to study and recommend new options for payment of vehicle fees or taxes due at the time of application for vehicle registration. These are the fees and taxes that are paid when vehicle owners purchase or renew their vehicle license tabs.

The work group must consist of, but is not limited​ to, the following members:​​
  • a representative of the Department of Licensing,
  • a representative of county auditors,
  • a representative of vehicle licensing subagents,
  • a representative of local taxing authorities imposing a fee or tax due at the time of application for vehicle registration,
  • a representative of a city offering or considering a rebate program for vehicle fees or taxes due at the time of application for vehicle registration,
  • a representative of vehicle owners subject to a motor vehicle excise tax, a representative of vehicle owners subject to an electric car or transportation electrification fee, and
  • an advocate for multimodal transportation options.

The work group must engage with members of the public who are interested in new options for payment of car tab fees and taxes, including persons from communities of color, low-income households, vulnerable populations, and displaced communities.

The work group's recommendations must include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Options to provide or encourage rebates to vehicle owners who pay taxes and fees due at the time of application for vehicle registration;
  • An agreed upon service fee structure for vehicle registration payment plans;
  • An agreed upon service fee revenue allocation method;
  • A process to allow agents and subagents to determine if a vehicle owner has paid all taxes and fees due prior to renewal of a vehicle registration;
  • Options for reducing revenue loss due to missed payments, transfer of the certificate of title, or registration of a vehicle out of state; and
  • Options to reduce impacts to communities of color, low-income households, vulnerable populations, and displaced communities.  

Budget:     $250,000
JTC Staff:     Alyson Cummings, Paul Neal
STC and HTC Staff:     Daniel Masterson; Beth Redfield
Report Due Date:     September 30, 2022      
View study materials and information     

Transportation Equity in Cities
The Washington State Legislature has commissioned a study on the impacts of current and historical city transportation investments on designated populations, including communities of color, low-income households, vulnerable populations, and displaced communities.

The study will identify and measure the true costs of underinvestment in accessible transportation for designated populations, including the secondary impacts to public health, economic opportunity, educational access, and environmental risk factors. The assessment must include specific approaches to addressing existing inequities within cities, as well as recommendations to develop best practices to improve, diversify, and expand city transportation investments. 

Budget:     $215,000
JTC Staff:     Dave Catterson, Alyson Cummings
STC and HTC Staff:     Daniel Masterson; Beth Redfield
Report Due Date:     December 20, 2022   ​
View study materials and information      ​


   


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