Wednesday, November 05, 2008

California High Speed Rail

Proposition 1A has has been passed by the voters of California. Passage of the proposition will start funding construction of a high-speed rail line between the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco and Los Angeles Union Station. The trip would take about 2 1/2 hours, and would cost $55 one way. After departing San Francisco, the train would make stops on the Peninsula and in San Jose and Gilroy before heading over the Pacheco Pass to the San Joaquin Valley and points south.
The system would be the largest public works project in California history - bigger than the California Aqueduct - and would cost $32 billion for the main line between San Francisco and Los Angeles and another $10 billion to $12 billion to complete the network with extensions to San Diego, Sacramento and Riverside County. The state is banking on getting about a third of the construction budget from state taxpayers, a third from the federal government and a third from private investors.

Statement on Voter Approval of Proposition 1A
From Quentin Kopp, Chairman, California High-Speed Rail Authority
“History will remember this night, when Californians demanded a new transportation system for California's 21st century travel needs. Thanks to tonight’s vote, a state-of-the-art, new transportation choice will link every major city in the state and move people and products like never before. The citizens of California have put the 21st century golden spike in the ground with a clear affirmation of high-speed trains.
As chairman of the High-Speed Rail Authority, I pledge to honor the spirit of those who established our state's pioneering transportation system, by working to build a first-in-the-nation high-speed train system to benefit future generations.
This effort will improve our once-matchless transportation systems in California by delivering a high-speed train system that will cost two to three times less than expanding freeways and airports to accommodate millions of new Californians by 2030.
A reliable 220-mile-per-hour electric high-speed train system will reduce our dependence on foreign oil by more than 12 million barrels per year and reduce greenhouse gases that cause global warming by 12.7 billion pounds annually. In short, we seek to reduce traffic congestion, protect our environment and give energy and life to our economy to the tune of 450,000 new jobs.
In turbulent economic times, this vote is particularly satisfying. The voters have demanded we face the future by planning for continued population growth at a time in which airports and freeways have reached capacity.
Our approach will be grounded by public-private financing and guided by scrupulous fiscal discipline and accountability. We accept the charge to build this train and we recognize our enormous responsibility to the current and future residents of this great State. We will live up to their expectations and aspirations.”