In another attempt to defund high-speed rail in the state, members of the California State Assembly last week adopted HR 97 which requests that the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CAHSRA) delay the awarding of several key contracts regarding the completion of the initial 171-mile construction segment currently under construction in the Central Valley. These contracts include the track construction and electrification of the line, the procurement of electric high-speed train sets, and land acquisitions to continue construction into the cities of Merced and Bakersfield -- all vital steps toward the completion of the route between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
If this money is deferred, it could be the death knell for clean, efficient, true high-speed passenger rail in the state and force the route to be run via slower and pollution-causing diesel engines.
We are asking you to write and tweet your legislators using the form to the right and tell them to stand up for high-speed rail and that you oppose delaying the project as directed in HR 97. Please include your personal story of why you support this project.
California High-Speed Rail is creating new jobs right where we need them the most to help restart the economy and the project will continue to do so across the state as work progresses. Remind your legislator that the benefits of high-speed rail extend well beyond speed:
- More than 73% of the 4,000 workers dispatched to various construction sites reported living within the Central Valley. (Source: CAHSRA)
- 24,000 highly skilled jobs created for every $1 billion invested in HSR. (Source: APTA)
- $4 return on economic benefits for every $1 invested in HSR which supports local communities on HSR lines, as well as the whole country. (Source: APTA)
- HSR is 8x more energy efficient than air travel. (Source: UIC)
- HSR is 4x more energy efficient than automobiles. (Source: UIC)
Interference from outside interests has plagued California High-Speed Rail since voters approved Prop 1A in 2008. Now more than ever, our elected officials must keep the focus on finishing what we started, both for the residents of California, and for the future of passenger rail in the United States.