Posted by: cgratton | March 30, 2009

California’s Proposed High-Speed Rail System Could Be the State’s Ticket Out of Debt

With all this talk about “infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure” to save our ailing economy, California’s proposed high-speed rail system could be just what the doctor ordered.  The 700-mile bullet rail system, which would link all major cities from Sacramento to San Diego, would improve the environment, create job opportunities and simultaneously increase the state’s efficiency, transporting products and people at speeds of up to 200 mph.

The proposed high-speed rail route

The proposed high-speed rail route

According to the project’s official website, the line is extremely eco-friendly. It will eliminate over 12 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year.  That’s equal to removing one million cars from the road, the website says.  And California could definitely use that…

An everyday occurance (and grievance) for California drivers

An everyday occurance (and grievance) for California drivers

The train is also a cheaper alternative to flying.  According to the interactive map on the project’s site, the longest possible trip—from San Francisco to San Diego—is only $70 one-way ($140 round trip).  The cheapest flight on Expedia.com is over $200 for a round trip.

Although flying is faster (an hour and a half air trip, as compared to the 4-hour train ride), accounting for security, check-in, boarding and baggage claim makes them about equal in time.

The project also boasts a slew of economic benefits.  The California High-Speed Rail Authority estimates that building the railroad will open up 160,000 construction-related jobs and 450,000 permanent jobs.  Creating the rail system also expects to generate over $1 billion per year in revenue.

Check out this video overview:

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