Calif. high-speed rail system forecasts $1B annual revenue surplus

Posted on November 11, 2008

California’s new high-speed train system will generate more than $1 billion in surplus revenues a year by 2030, reducing congestion and pollution and returning nearly three times as much in value as the system will cost over the next 40 years, according to a new business plan released by the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA).

"This Business Plan calculates high-speed trains will alleviate the need to spend nearly $100 billion to build about 3,000 miles of new freeway plus five airport runways and 90 departure gates over the next two decades," said Judge Quentin Kopp, chairman of the board of the CHSRA, which released the plan Friday. "A statewide high-speed train system will meet that same need for about half the cost."

Kopp called the Business Plan a “snapshot in time” taken from thousands of hours of detailed analysis of the economic underpinnings of the high-speed train system.

In addition to 160,000 construction jobs over the next two decades, high-speed trains will generate 320,000 permanent jobs by 2030, growing to 450,000 jobs in 2035, according to the plan. The system will also reduce the state’s reliance on fossil fuel by 12.7 million barrels of oil per year and eliminate 12 billion pounds of CO2 emissions a year. It will expand transportation capacity, provide a new option for intercity travel, and act as a catalyst to strengthen existing city centers by maintaining and improving accessibility.

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