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High-speed rail receives Senate OK

Original post made on Jul 6, 2012

Construction of California's controversial high-speed-rail system between San Francisco and Los Angeles is ready to launch, following a dramatic vote by the state Senate Friday afternoon.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 6, 2012, 5:16 PM

Comments (16)

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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 6, 2012 at 11:12 pm

How many teaching jobs would a billion dollars generate?

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Posted by Mike
a resident of another community
on Jul 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Sacramento wastes billions on a train to nowhere, then they expect us to send billions more to them via November tax increases? Not a chance.

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Posted by James Thurber
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm

I've just returned from the East Coast, riding their excellent trains - which are high speed - 150 mph on the Acela Express from Boston to New York City. I spoke with several conductors about California's high speed rail project and they voiced some legitimate concerns: a) 260 mph is still very experimental. Most trains that run at this speed do so for extremely short distances - many of these trains operate on magnetic levitated rail systems; b) "What would California's High Speed Railroad's average speed be?" They felt it would be no greater than 125 mph in the best of circumstances; c) the distances in California do NOT lend themselves to high speed rail - its 400 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles; d) Are the public transportation systems in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco suitable? They doubted it (I do too). Public transportation is excellent in Boston, Washington, D.C. and especially New York City.

Given their concerns I think that California's decision to go ahead with High Speed Rail will prove one of the biggest failures in the history of the state.

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Posted by Nick
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 8, 2012 at 11:14 pm

California Government has just proven that they don't need additional tax dollars -- vote NO on the tax increases coming up in November. Absolutely crazy!

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 9, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Contrary to his election promises, Jerry Brown is clearly indebted to big labor. Taxing the living crap out of the general public to employ a relatvely small number of valley construction workers is not sound fiscal policy. Next on his agenda: Reopen Solyndra?

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Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Supposedly HSR will be completed by 2029. I will be 75 years old then. I will have to find a reason to use the system when I am 75. At least the intersection of Central Expy at Rengstorff will be different...

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Posted by Ole
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 9, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Thanks for the insight James.

I just returned from Spain, where there are several HSR systems draining the state. They are not all that fast or on time. They aren't cheap either. And then you get gouged by higher rental car rates than at the major international airports. And then there's that 25% unemployment.

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Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm

The other thing the Acela corridor has is population density. From Washing D.C. to Boston there are a ton of people packed along the train route. Same for the train routes in Europe.

In between San Jose and Los Angeles there just aren't enough people to make this economically viable.

If this were a private business venture it would be dead on arrival. But that state doesn't have about things like that.. they just raise our taxes.

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Posted by Konrad M. Sosnow
a resident of another community
on Jul 9, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Just think, you're grandchildren will be able to visit the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento and see the platinum spike for the 300 mile Obama Railroad.

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Posted by MV resident
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 9, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Insanity. We can't afford it and nobody is going to use it.

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Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 10, 2012 at 11:55 am

@MV Resident,

You might be right: "Insanity. We can't afford it and nobody is going to use it." However, I'm sure I can find these exact words from the early sixties to refer to BART in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Our Supervisors opted out of BART based on that logic, and half a century later we pay a premium to buy our way back in. If you are wrong about HSR, the same thing will have to happen all over again. Insanity is actually taking the same approach but expecting a different result.

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Posted by Steve Ly
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm

When pro-transit commentators point out problems with the proposed California high speed rail system, you know it's flawed. How bad is it? Read this:
Web Link

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Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 11, 2012 at 10:56 am

We have to somehow kill this wasteful project but not by voting against the tax increase in November which will only hurt our schools and other vital activities.

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Posted by Steve Ly
a resident of another community
on Jul 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Voting against the November tax increases is the only way to send a message to Sacramento.

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Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 11, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Hopefully we will be able to explain to kids who get in trouble during two extra weeks of no school that their life changing problems are our way of "sending a message" to the Governor and Legislators about spending priorities. Only about 50 school districts around the state directly spend local revenue on school operations. The other 950 are largely funded by the state through complicated formulas. They are spared in the adopted budget, while everything else takes cuts of various sizes. If the initiative fails, more than 5 million students K-12 will get fewer classroom days, and many of their parents will pay a direct "tax" in the form of additional child care expenses. Over the last three or four years, schools have already been cut by approx 20%. Each year in a child's education is a one-off opportunity, so putting money back later does not help the student who is shortchanged today.

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Posted by timo
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 12, 2012 at 1:27 am

This high speed rail is the biggest waste of time and money this area has ever seen. its gonna start out like a ball of fire and burn out just as fast. in the first month it will already be over budget, and it will get worse from there. I wonder how many people are going to get fat cash out of this horrible joke.

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