CALPIRG Wants Your Help to Pass High Speed Rail

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(The following piece is by Erin Steva, CALPIRG’s high speed rail coordinator for the Greater Los Angeles area.  Her contact information is at the bottom for anyone interested in helping to get a bonding ballot proposition passed next November.)

Ready to start laying the tracks for a high-speed rail? We have less
then 28 days to pass Prop 1A which would allow the high-speed rail to
move forward. We are right on the cusp of winning, but do need swing
the state by educating undecided voters.

That is why we are doing a series of events in upcoming weeks to make
sure secure those critical votes. If you have an hour or two open, come
on by to one of the following:

Sunday (October 12)- Voter Education Table, 2:30-6: We will be at the
Franklin Village Street fair, meeting at Franklin and Bronson. We are
asking volunteers to pitch in whatever they can.

Wednesday (October 15)- High-Speed Rail Action Meeting, 7-8:30:
Volunteers can learn more about Prop 1a, and what we need to do to win.
After the briefing, we will write letters to the editor to key
newspapers, and also start to plan the next big event. Meeting is at
3435 Wilshire Blvd Suite 385, Los Angeles.

If you have any questions, or would like to be updated on future events, please contact esteva@calpirg.org. Looking forward to helping build the rail!

Image: California High Speed Rail

  • Erin plans to attend the SO.CA.TA meeting Saturday at which Paul Dyson of RailPAC will make a presentation on the bonds. I’m told Matt Meltzer who is leading the campaign for the bonds on behalf of the National Association of Railroad Passengers will also be attending. Mr. Dyson’s presentation starts at 1 p.m. Saturday Oct. 11th at Angelus Plaza, 255 S. Hill St. in downtown Los Angeles, 4th floor. Event is free and open to the public.

  • This is an exciting Ballot Measure!

    I hope this blog can do a rundown on CA ballot measures from a livable streets perspective or link to someone doing this.

    Prop 1A, obviously good. Prop 10 is one that could be turned over a few times, and had its tires kicked.

  • Calpirg has made a major mistake in supporting this boondoggle. This project has so many problems, that it was the subject of a 45 page report before the State Senate Transportation and Housing committee in July. How a organizaton like this that is supposedly working for the public good, can support a project that in these very difficult fiscal times will put the State deficit every year about $650 million extra dollars into the red is crazy.

    Don’t be fo0led! Stop this before at least $2 billion is wasted by this incompetent Rail Authority and then everyone realizes what a boondoggle this really represents.

  • A lot of No on Prop 1A information can be found at

    http://www.derailhsr.com

  • anonymouse

    California absolutely does need a high speed rail system. But I don’t think the system proposed by the HSRA and being voted on as Prop 1A is the right one. One basic problem is that the High Speed Rail Authority is a political agency, full of politicians who know next to nothing about actual rail planning, construction, or operation. There are people on the board like Rod Diridon, who seems quite eager to expand the Rod Diridon Station in San Jose to be a fitting monument to himself and all the wonderful infrastructure he’s built to make San Jose a real city. Another problem is that in order to make the HSR viable, we need a strong normal speed rail network as well, where normal speed means 125 mph electric trains. There are the beginnings of such a network, in the form of the Amtrak California services, but they are not fast, frequent, or extensive enough yet, and the HSR has absolutely no plans for through-running either.
    If I were running things, I would focus all the efforts on getting an HSR line built from Newhall to Bakersfield, which would provide a key missing link in the state rail network, and might provide a key link for freight rail as well. Sure, it won’t get people from LA to SF in two and half hours, but with an electrified San Joaquin line, it would get people from LA to Oakland in six and a half hours on a single train, which would already be a huge improvement. As the service becomes more successful, the high speed segment can be expanded, and the journey time shortened, piece by piece through the Central Valley.

  • Marino

    I don’t know many people who need a high speed train from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
    I know a lot of people who need a train from Downtown LA to Northridge or Simi Valley or Anaheim. A train that has its own line and doesn’t crash with freight. A train that runs on weekends. A train that runs past 7pm. A train that runs every 5-10 minutes. ie Metrolink x 10.

  • California does in fact need a high speed train, and this plan is as good as any. It is not a drain on the budget, it is an investment in the future, which will create jobs and grow a greener economy.

    Just like the building of the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge during the depression, along with many other public works projects, we have to continue to invest in our infrastructure. California has benefitted from the investments made in decades past, and we have forgotten to renew that investment in recent years. This is an opportunity that, if we pass it by, will only cost more as time goes by.

    The forces against this project are led by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the Reason Foundation, both virulent anti-government organizations that are trying to starve the public sector of funding. Don’t believe their ideological hype. It’s intended to cause government default.

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