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Mayor Charlie Hales

City of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Phone: 503-823-4120

1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 340, Portland, OR 97204

Willamette Valley mayors rally support for passenger rail

Union Station, Portland's Amtrack stationTHURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2015 – The mayors of Eugene, Portland and Albany are urging voters to speak out in support of the Amtrak Cascades intercity passenger rail service, which serves the Willamette Valley.

A letter was distributed this week by Kitty Piercy, mayor of Eugene, with the support of Charlie Hales, mayor of Portland, and Sharon Konopa, mayor of Albany. The letter encourages residents to share their opinions with lawmakers. Direct spending is estimated at $2.8 million per year for the passenger service.

“Vibrant passenger rail, up and down the Willamette Valley, is good for the environment and good for business,” Mayor Hales said. “This year, a funding increase for transportation is a priority of Gov. Kate Brown and Speaker of the House Tina Kotek. I support their efforts to increase funding for transportation. And smart rail transportation is an important element of that.”

“Full funding of the service will demonstrate Oregon’s commitment to state-supported rail and help us meet our shared greenhouse gas reduction goals,” the mayors stated in their open letter to residents. “This support is necessary for continued federal investment in much-needed rail infrastructure, such as depot improvements and layover tracks.”

Gov. Brown singled out transportation funding as a top priority in her first-ever State of the State speech, earlier this month.

Read the letter: