High-speed train to receive over $2 billion in federal stimulus funds

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The Nozomi Bullet train travels between Osaka and Tokyo, Japan. California's will travel between San Diego and San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Bruce Strong/Orange County Register/MCT

The state of California will receive up to $2.24 billion in federal stimulus funding for a new high-speed train project headed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), which will connect from San Diego to San Francisco with stops in several major cities including Anaheim, Irvine, Riverside, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Fresno and Sacramento.

The high-speed train can travel up to 220 mph and cover a 520-mile route, according to the White House Press Secretary. The billion-dollar investment is expected to create and save a countless jobs over time in areas such as track laying, manufacturing, planning, engineering, rail maintenance and operations.

“We have come together because the building of a high-speed train system in California will create sustainable green jobs, spur economic growth and protect our environment.” State Assembly member Cathleen Galgiani, author of the “High-Speed Rail Bond”, said.

“Federal funds would be put to use right away in California, consistent with the president’s vision on an immediate economic stimulus program,” Galgiani added.

Not only will the high-speed train project save jobs, money and time, it will help dilute the dependency on fossil fuels and cut down on pollution. Even though students are always trying to save money, time and give a helping hand to the environment, a few oppose the project.

“I think it is a stupid idea that we are even getting this train. We have so many different problems going on, we do not need this,” history major, Michelle Bower, 27, said. “I think this is just another way for the government to spend our tax money.”

Graphic by Kristen Hulsey/Daily Titan Design Editor

Diego Gutierrez, political science major, has a different opinion.

“On a personal level, I think it is a great project and can benefit California jobs, business and tourism,” said Gutierrez.

State Assembly Member Galgiani and Vice President Joe Biden anticipate construction to begin even though a small number of people oppose the idea.

“I think this project got off track,” said 37-year-old economics major, Dennis McGinley. “This whole thing about the rails gave me a splitting headache, the construction of this may start in a predicted three years, and I really think we should focus our time elsewhere other than transportation.”

“By investing in (a) high-speed rail, we’re doing so many good things for our country at the same time,” said Vice President Biden. “We’re creating good construction and manufacturing jobs in the near-term; we’re spurring economic development in the future; we’re making our communities more livable – and we’re doing it all while decreasing America’s environmental impact and increasing America’s ability to compete in the world.”

Due to California having a 12.1 percent unemployment rate, lack of new jobs, higher tuition and gas prices, more public transportation may be ideal because of the cost and speed.

“I feel safer in a train rather than a car,” Gutierrez said. “I use public transportation whenever I can and I like it, but I think we just need more routes and ways of movement.”

The new high-speed trains are going to be a large, seemingly efficient way to stimulate the economy and help people cut down on travel expenses. According to Cahighspeedrail.ca.gov, a person traveling 465 miles from Anaheim to San Francisco – in less than three hours – can cut their travel expenses to only $58 on the high-speed train. A car traveling 465 miles would cost $93, and air fare would be $110.

“I would use the train. I think it would help people travel to work and other places for a cheaper price,” Bower admits. “I am a student, so cutting down time and money is a no-brainier. When it is done, I am not going to stay away from it.”

Putting people to work in planning or managing the new high-speed train station could help the economy generate revenue and spur economic development in the future.

“Construction will begin in 2011. The high-speed trains should be finished in 2020, this is with all the connections to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Anaheim, Irvine, Riverside, Bakersfield, Fresno and Sacramento,” said Senior Consultant to Assembly Member Galgiani, Robin Adam.

“With the high-speed train, we are going to stimulate economic growth and the movement of people,” Gutierrez said. “The high-speed train will save me money on travel, which will able me to stimulate the economy.”

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3 commentsOn High-speed train to receive over $2 billion in federal stimulus funds

  • $2 billion is a probably not enough money when the project is projected to cost an upward of $30 billion…

    And high speed rains like the the ones in Europe, Japan, and China are barely making money as it is…how long will it take for THIS project to make money? Guess it doesn’t matter, since it’ll supposedly help the environment and bring all these new green jobs…

    Not to mention the costs estimated by the site to drive (or fly) up to San Fran are off…

  • For a reality check, try Googlenewsing “ridership, high speed rail”. Mercury News. It is not that high speed rail is a bad idea, it is that those in charge of building it are ripping us all off and lying to us. Wholesale cleaning of the palace.

  • Brian,
    According to exspedia.com the cost of travel with U.S. Airways and Southwest is accurate but tentative on the dates. Cahighspeedrail.ca.gov dose not ask for dates and is not always accurate because it dose not include weekends or hollidays. Not to mention gas is always up or down in price and that could be a factor.

    Maybe another good story for the Titian would be how California rips us off-

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