RSG team presents impartial findings of high-speed rail review to Washington State legislature

RSG, in partnership with STV Incorporated, recently presented key findings from our independent review of an ultra-high-speed ground transportation system (UHSGT)—which would connect Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, and other key points in the Pacific Northwest—during a meeting of the Washington State Legislature Joint Transportation Committee (JTC) on Tuesday, June 20, 2023.

The JTC had been considering advancing the UHSGT idea forward to a more detailed development phase. However, before that, they sought our team's expertise to perform a neutral, impartial review of the assumptions used in prior studies on this topic. Our team focused on three aspects as part of the transportation forecasting process we undertook:

1. Assessing the quality and reasonability of past studies.
2. Identifying additional factors for consideration in the UHSGT's future development.
3. Drawing insights from other high-speed ground transportation systems for UHSGT development.

After conducting detailed due diligence, trade-off, and governance and procurement analyses, we found that the methods and tools used in prior UHSGT studies comply with industry standards. The assumptions were applied appropriately, generating credible results. However, our review also exposed some features and assumptions that, although suitable for current study levels, lack the robustness required for investment-grade analyses needed for advanced project development. The final report is available here.

Click here to watch our team's testimony »