Sign our petition: California high-speed rail is on the right track!
On May 1, California’s High-Speed Rail Authority delivered a project update report to the state’s legislature. This report, along with a recent interview with authority CEO Brian Kelly in Politico Pro (subscription required), shows that the state is on the right track.
Despite the federal government’s attempts to stonewall the project, and Governor Newsom’s confusing remarks during his State of the State speech, Kelly is committed to finishing the initial operating segment and getting Californians experiencing high-speed trains as soon as possible.
The May 1, 2019 project update report reviews an analysis of service over the initial high-speed segment, prepared by the U.S. branch of Deutsche Bahn that California hired. It concludes that offering hourly service on the high-speed line, connected to expanded San Joaquin and ACE trains in Merced, is the best way to begin.
This combination of service will reduce trip times from Sacramento or the Bay Area to Bakersfield by 90 to 100 minutes. Replacing existing service on the Merced to Bakersfield segment with high-speed service increases costs 60%, but increases ridership so much that revenue nearly triples (190% increase), assuming fares stay the same. This once again proves the transformative benefits of true high-speed rail.
Deutsche Bahn suggests the next area of study is to detail the service plan that integrates high-speed service with improved and expanded ACE and San Joaquin trains.
This initial operating plan is designed to get as many Californians as possible riding high-speed rail as soon as possible. Securing funding to finish the full high-speed rail system, including costly tunnels linking the initial Central Valley line directly to the Bay Area and Los Angeles, depends on the public experiencing the game-changing reality of freight-free, grade-separated high-speed rail infrastructure.
Our new California section summarizes the state’s groundbreaking rail plan, which the high-speed line forms the keystone of. Please take a look, then sign our petition to Governor Newsom and the California legislature to support the completion of the initial operating segment as soon as possible.