California is Building High Speed Rail
Los Angeles to San Francisco in under three hours? It’s not just a dream.
The California High Speed Rail Authority is building the first segment right now. And, they have an excellent plan for completing the line.
Soon, the California legislature will need to appropriate the next round of funding.
High-speed trains can cut the travel time between Los Angeles and San Francisco by half, compared to driving. But high-speed rail means more than just connecting the Bay Area and L.A.
A combination of local and express trains will serve more than 15 cities on the main trunk line, forming the backbone for a much larger transportation system.
And, by connecting the high speed backbone to California’s extensive network of trains and buses, it will link hundreds of cities across the state.
Completing high-speed rail will:
- Increase ridership
We predict that high-speed trains, when connected to conventional trains and buses, will increase ridership tenfold.
- Reduce stress and improve productivity
Work, rest and enjoy a snack while avoiding the stop-and-go gridlock on California’s interstates.
- Build Stronger Connections
Trains bring people together: Grandson to grandma. Long-distance best friends. Managers from across the state to a sales convention.
California aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent (from 1990 levels) by 2030. Transportation is the greatest source of emissions, and high-speed rail is the solution.
The California High Speed Authority estimates that the state would have to build 4,300 miles of new highway lanes and 115 new airport gates to equal the passenger capacity of the new high speed rail line. And, adding new highway lanes is like loosing your belt to reduce wieght gain.
California is using the Integrated Network Approach. Segments of high-speed line will be added to an already robust network of trains and buses.
The whole network steadily becomes stronger each step of the way.
The first high-impact segment is already under construction in the Central Valley. It is a great place to prove the power of 220-mph high-speed trains.
Let’s look back on another great transportation undertaking – building our nation's Interstate Highway System. It was projected to cost $25 billion and take 12 years. Instead, it cost $114 billion (in 1956 dollars) and took 35 years. But Americans found that the new interstates delivered a lot of value to drivers and a big boost to the American economy. So we stayed the course.
California should stay the course with high-speed rail. That means completing an electrified segment as soon as possible, while being aggressive about planning and funding the rest of the backbone.
Please tell your legislators to push forward with high-speed rail.