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High-Speed Rail Authority proposes higher fares

Original post made on Dec 18, 2009

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is banking on billions of private dollars, extensive federal support and riders willing to shell out more than $100 to take the new train between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the agency's new 145-page business plan reveals.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 18, 2009, 10:45 AM

Comments (4)

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Posted by Max
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 18, 2009 at 6:00 pm

This subject entails readily available background data that offhand or rhetorical commentators often ignore, or don't even know. I wish that this and other articles included more of it, for balance and perspective. Thus, P.A. Dep'y City Mgr. Emslie's assertion "I don't think in the last 100 years there has been a public transportation system that actually made money without a lot of subsidy" is unchallenged despite overlooking a basic motivation for California's HSR project: "high-speed train lines worldwide generate surpluses from their operations, unlike traditional passenger service."

The article dwells on the billions HSR would cost, neglecting the greater billions California would have to spend anyway on HSR's alternative: future airport facilities (another point very public via the HSR site above). The article asserts "many Peninsula residents [are] disenchanted with" HSR, but omits to add that Pensinsula residents voted strongly for it. It claims HSR "has attracted waves of skepticism and opposition in the Peninsula" but overlooks the related waves of wildly inaccurate fear-mongering misinformation flooding the Peninsula in the past year (about speeds, tracking, structures, Caltrain aspects), despite easily available accurate data. It does not cite the few names that appear repeatedly in anti-HSR rhetoric (in opinion pieces and online sites) that presume to speak for "the Peninsula," nor the cranks with enough leisure to advocate ideas like tunneling underground 800 miles (but inadequate leisure to discover that it would be economically absurd).

HSR is a serious complex issue that may affect many of us, and it deserves more thoughtful, _informed_ attention and far less rhetoric.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 19, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Nothing complicated about it. HSR is a multi-billion project that this bankrupt state cannot afford. We already have cars, buses, and planes which do a perfectly adequate job of getting folks around California.

You can slice and dice this however you want, but you can't get around the fact that it is a complete and utter waste of money, and demonstrates how broken the CA proposition process truly is.

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Posted by Mike Laursen
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 19, 2009 at 8:42 pm

Not to mention that we also have good passenger rail train serving the corridor between San Jose and San Francisco, and this whole high-speed rail boondoggle is a major distraction from improvements that could be made to this existing system.

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Posted by k
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Dec 21, 2009 at 2:41 pm

"The new plan, however, raises the ticket price for the same trip to about $104.75, or 83 percent of an average airline ticket."

If this is a one-way ticket they're talking about, isn't Southwest still cheaper? I've paid $170 for a round trip ticket from SJ to LA before (...and Southwest gives you snacks!). Sadly fail to see how they're going to get that much business if airfare is still cheaper -and- faster. Sigh. I like trains too, but I'm not willing to shell out extra cash for a longer trip, and I have a feeling others won't be so willing either.

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