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HSR crucial to California economic stimulus

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    Published February 2009, Inglewood Today Trains Crucial to California Economic Stimulus Plans for a future high-speed train system just got a leg up, thanks to
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 28, 2009
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      Published February 2009, Inglewood Today

      Trains Crucial to California Economic Stimulus

      Plans for a future high-speed train system just got a leg up, thanks
      to the passage of both the state budget and Pres. Obama's economic
      stimulus package. Last fall, California voters approved a $9 billion
      bond for high-speed trains. About $8 billion of the $787 billion
      approved by Congress will go toward light-rail [BATN: high-speed
      rail] transportation projects. It is not clear how much will go
      to California. However, Obama is expected to ask for an additional
      $1 billion for the 2010 budget this week.

      According to Quentin Kopp, a former judge and chairman of the
      California High-Speed Rail Authority, California High-Speed Rail
      Authority, a trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, which is about
      410, 420 miles, will take two hours and 38 minutes with a one-way
      fare of $55."

      The massive project is expected to generate nearly 160,000
      construction-related jobs to plan, design and build the system. An
      additional 450,000 permanent jobs are expected to be created by 2035
      as a result of economic growth relative to the train system being in
      California.

      Construction is expected to begin by 2011. It could take eight to
      eleven years to develop and begin operation of an initial segment of
      the California high-speed train.

      An implementation plan approved in August 2005 estimates that it
      would take eight to eleven years to "develop and begin operation of
      an initial segment of the California high-speed train"

      Daily ridership is estimated between 91 million and 95 million --
      which would significantly relieve gridlock. California has three of
      the top five most congested urban areas in the U.S. Los Angeles is
      the most congested city.

      To serve the same number of travelers as the high-speed train system,
      California would have to build nearly 3,000 lane-miles of freeway
      plus five airport runways and 90 departure gates by 2020 -- costing
      more than twice the high-speed train system and having much greater
      environmental impacts.

      What's more, the proposed high-speed train system will provide lower
      passenger costs than for travel by automobile or air for the same
      city-to-city markets. Right now, congestion costs approximately
      $20 billion per year in wasted fuel and lost time.

      Other regions looking to get their share of the stimulus money for
      transportation include Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Washington,
      D.C., New York, Texas, Florida and Ohio.

      Currently, Amtak's Acela services, which run from Washington, DC, to
      New York, and north to Boston is the closest thing to high-speed rail
      service in the U.S. The journey from D.C. to New York takes a little
      less than 3 hours. France and Japan currently have the most advanced
      high-speed trains in the world.

      For more information on the high-speed train project, visit
      http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov
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