WSTC to discuss the future of electric vehicles and ferries, and high-speed rail in Washington

Transportation Commission Office – PO Box 47308 – Olympia, WA 98504-7308 – 360-705-7070

Contact: Reema Griffith, WSTC executive director, 360-705-7070 (Olympia)

Transportation Commission’s virtual meeting set for Feb. 16 and 17

OLYMPIA – Planning for future transportation needs is the focus of the Washington State Transportation Commission’s February meeting. As the state looks to expand its use of electric vehicles, our state ferry system is also beginning a transition to hybrid electric boats. To increase options for clean and efficient travel options, high-speed ground transportation is also being explored. These are just some of topics the commission will hear about at this month’s meeting.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. both Tuesday, Feb. 16, and Wednesday, Feb. 17. Due to limitations on the size of gatherings in response to COVID-19, this meeting will be conducted virtually using Zoom Webinar. People interested in attending can register on the commission’s website. The meeting will be broadcast live on TVW at

On Tuesday, the Oregon Department of Transportation will update the commission on its road usage charge program and tolling preparations. Given the significant travel that occurs between Oregon and Washington, and the effect the Portland metro area has on residents in southwest Washington, active coordination on efforts affecting both states is important. Following that, the I-5 Interstate Bridge Replacement Program, a joint program between the Oregon and Washington departments of transportation, will update the commission on the status of their efforts to determine funding approaches and a project design that will work for both states and the communities served by the bridge.

Much of Tuesday afternoon will be spent discussing ferry-related issues. The commission will hear about the Puget Sound Regional Council’s recently completed study on the potential for providing passenger-only ferry service throughout the Puget Sound, including Lake Washington and Lake Union. Washington State Ferries staff will update the commission about efforts underway to bring electrification to state ferries, starting with the conversion of one ferry class, the fleet’s three Jumbo Mark II vessels, to hybrid electric. WSF staff will also begin discussions with the commission on the 2021-23 ferry fare setting process and schedule.

On Wednesday, the commission will receive updates on the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Cascadia Ultra-High-Speed Ground Transportation Report that assesses the potential for bringing this form of travel to Western Washington, running north/south between Vancouver, B.C., and Portland, Oregon. The commission will also hear the results of a recent WSDOT public information campaign regarding the impacts and damage studded tires cause to state highways. The campaign’s intent was to increase public awareness and encourage the use of alternative tire technology.

Questions from the public can be asked during the meeting by using the “question” box found on-screen during the virtual meeting, and as time allows, will be addressed during the meeting. Written public comment can also be submitted via email until 4 p.m. the day before the meeting. Comments should be sent to

All presentations will be available on the commission’s website. For more information about the commission and a complete meeting agenda.


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information: Individuals requiring reasonable accommodations may request written materials in alternate formats, sign language interpreters, physical accessibility accommodations, or other reasonable accommodations by the Commission Office at (360) 705-7070 or Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may contact the event sponsor through the Washington Relay Service at 7-1-1.

Title VI Notice to Public
It is the Washington State Transportation Commission’s (WSTC) policy to assure that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin or sex, as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise discriminated against under any of its programs and activities. Any person who believes his/her Title VI protection has been violated, may file a complaint with WSDOT’s Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO). For additional information regarding Title VI complaint procedures and/or information regarding our non-discrimination obligations, please contact OEO’s Title VI Coordinator 360-705-7090.