Momentum Builds for CA High Speed Rail

CBS Looks at CA’s HSR Application via California High Speed Rail Blog

Now that the first round of applications to the federal government for the $8 billion in High Speed Rail which means it’s more than past time to make the case that California deserves more than its share of those funds.  California has two applications in to the the USDOT for two segments of the project that should eventually connect San Francisco to San Diego.

The first is local and would connect Los Angeles to Anaheim.  The cost for completing that segment is $3 billion.  The second corridor would connect San
Francisco to San Jose at somewhere between $4 billion and $5 billion.  The L.A. to Anaheim line could be completed by as early as 2018.

The case has already been made that California is ahead of the game when it comes to planning for High Speed Rail.  In addition to having a route ready to go, last November voters approved a $9.9 billion bond for the project that will cover nearly one quarter of the $40 billion project.

In fact, California is so far ahead of other states, that The Business Insider, a publication that until recently had been questioning the potential success of sending money towards High Speed Rail, suggested that instead of helping every deserving project around the country the federal government should send all of the money to California.  They propose that California’s High Speed Rail project could be the "interstate system" of this "great recession."

If we built the train system proposed for California, we would get
real, measurable, results. If the train is a flop, at least we’ll know
for sure. If it’s a raging success, then we can choose the next part of
the country in which to build a better train system.

However, if we give a $76 million to North Carolina, and $28 million to Pennsylvania, what will really learn?

We’ve seen a lot of controversy created against the concept of High Speed Rail by east-coast columnists who can’t think outside of the box.  Yesterday, DC Streetsblog’s Ryan Avant took apart a Washington Post columnist who used the bizarre argument that America didn’t have the density to support High Speed Rail as they do in Europe.  While Avant blew that argument out of the water nationally, the California High Speed Rail Blog took it a step further and looked at the density of the counties that would be served by High Speed Rail when it comes to California.

San Francisco County – 9,999
San Mateo County- 1,575
Santa Clara County- 1,303
Merced County- 109.2
Fresno County- 143.1
Tulare County- 76.3
Kern County- 81.3
Los Angeles County 2,344.1
Orange County- 3,607.5

average: 2,138 persons per square mile over nine counties served by HSR.

This is just for the San Francisco to Irvine section, but I think we can safely lay density to rest as an argument.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Rail Expert Reutter: CA and FL Deserve More HSR Funding

|
Mark Reutter, author of the industrial tome Making Steel and a veteran editor of Railroad History, can safely be called an expert on the train industry. And in a new memo for the Progressive Policy Institute, he is issuing a warning to the Obama administration on its high-profile push for high-speed rail. California’s high-speed rail […]

“California High Speed Rail Goes Local” Los Angeles Event – Awards Dinner and Panel Discussion

|
Join Californians For High Speed Rail, Move LA, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for an Award Ceremony and Panel Discussion about the future of high-speed rail in Southern California. Room information to follow shortly. Award Ceremony: Presentation of “Champion of California High-Speed Rail” Awards to Congresswomen Loretta […]
Photo: Ryan Stern

Tidbits from This Week’s U.S. High Speed Rail Association Conference

|
This week Streetsblog L.A. attended the U.S. High Speed Rail Association’s West Coast Rail Conference. The conference featured speakers from public agencies and private industry speaking on rail projects from California to Korea to Turkey to Spain and many places between. Below are three conference tidbids that Streetsblog L.A. readers might be interested in. Some of […]

U.S. High Speed Rail Association Conference

|
U.S. High Speed Rail Association Sets Conference in L.A. on June 17-18; National, California High Speed Rail Plans Take Center Stage Leaders from the US High Speed Rail Association (US HSR), legislators, and other business and civic leaders from throughout California will gather in Los Angeles to discuss the future of the nation’s high speed […]