Thursday, October 9, 2008

High Speed Train from L.A. to San Francisco?

On November 4, Californian's will vote on Proposition 1A, which would allow the state to sell about $10 billion in bonds to pay for a high-speed passenger train. The train would link cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento and San Diego.

Now, we don't know if the bill will pass or even if the rail line will be built even if it does (since the total cost of the project is well above the amount Proposition 1A authorizes). But how fantastic would it be if we could hop on a train in downtown Los Angeles and be in San Fran in about two hours? Not only would it save us time, but we'd be able to leave our polluting, congestion-causing cars at home, zip up the coast and then use the BART public transportation system to get around the Bay Area -- and all for less than the cost of a tank of gas (which is about what it would take to drive to SF).

Of course part of this project's appeal is the general consensus that bullet trains are super cool. They've been featured in plenty of movies, with our hero battling the bad guys in, on, through, hanging off of and shooting at helicopters from their speeding train cars. (Not that most of us hope to find ourselves in that sort of situation if the train line ever gets built!)

We're not officially endorsing Proposition 1A, but we do tend to agree with the LA Times' editorial sentiments:

"If the line never gets built, the state's losses will be well under $2 billion. That's not too much to wager on a visionary leap that would cement California's place as the nation's most forward-thinking state."

Though this might seem like a lot of money, keep in mind that California's gross state product (GSP) was about $1.812 trillion in 2007, which is largest in the United States and as a GDP is larger than all but eight countries in the world.

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