High-speed train would benefit Calif., study says

Posted on January 27, 2004

A new study extols the benefits of building a high-speed rail link between Los Angeles and San Francisco, claiming it would attract tens of millions of riders and significantly reduce congestion on California highways. The study, released by the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) and the Federal Railroad Administration, shows the proposed train system could carry up to 68 million passengers by 2020. Other benefits of the plan include increased mobility, relief of highway congestion and protection of the environment. High-speed trains could also boost and help sustain California's economy. According to the study, for every dollar invested in the train system, California will reap more than $2 in revenue. The CHSRA, which has been studying and promoting the concept of a California bullet train for 10 years, envisions a network stretching from San Diego to Sacramento, with train speeds surpassing 200 mph. Estimated costs of the high-speed rail link, totaling $37 billion, combined with the state's troubled finances, leave the plan's prospects uncertain, according to the The Los Angeles Times. A $10 billion bond measure to finance the the first leg of the network is planned for the November ballot. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed putting off the vote due to the state's severe budget problems.

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