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Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for May 6th, 2007

High Speed Rail System In California Gets Boost From Governor

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Gene Haagenson 05/05/2007

After being pushed off the ballot in 2004 by Governor Davis, and 2006 by Governor Schwarzenegger, high speed rail is slated to be on the 2008 ballot, and this time may have the governor’s support.In a letter the Governor sent to the Fresno Bee, he said “I strongly support high speed rail for California, and especially for the San Joaquin Valley.”

The governor says the recent truck crash that shut down a Bay Area freeway helps make the case for high speed rail. He notes it would also reduce traffic congestion, cut air pollution and create 300 thousand jobs.

This reverses his position – something I referred to in passing in an earlier post. Hopefully, this will come up in conversation at the upcoming meeting between Gordon Campbell and the three state governors. Amtrak service between Vancouver, Seattle and Portland really needs to be improved and frankly it has been the Canadians who have been behind on this.

Spending on existing proven technologies is a lot better than nonsense like the hydrogen highway. Of course, building the thing is just the first step. Long term support will also be needed, something that has always been nearly impossible for Amtrak to secure from Washington. But its not just about freeways. This could also reduce airport congestion reducing pressure for further government support for airport expansion, and I suspect that it was not just freeway congestion that moved Arnie. The ghg per passenger from airlines is going to be one of the hardest nuts to crack.

Written by Stephen Rees

May 6, 2007 at 4:14 pm