Revised California High-Speed Rail Plan

According to the Los Angeles Times, numerous leaders in the Los Angeles area have backed a revised high-speed rail plan that will reduce costs by $30 billion.  Most of the cuts in the revised California’s high-speed rail plan are created by using existing tracks, as opposed to building new dedicated lines.  The new plan also aims to increase the speed of high-speed rail construction by beginning on a 300-mile stretch of track this year, more than doubling the  initial plan.  Even with a $30 billion reduction, the project is still more than $25 billion over the budget approved by voters in 2008.  According to the new rail plan, passengers could enjoy high-speed rail service between Los Angeles and San Francisco by 2029.

While leaders support the reduced budget and faster construction but  the revised high-speed rail plan has had mixed reactions among the public.  Many claim that the current high-speed rail plan is completely different from the plan voters approved and feel that a lack of dedicated lines ruins high-speed rail. Former state senator Quentin Kopp refers to the new high-speed rail plan as, “the great train robbery.”

Although I understand the frustrations of high-speed rail proponents that desire dedicated lines, it is good to see that cuts are being made to make California’s high-speed rail a realistic project again.  In previous months, rising costs and falling public support made the future of California’s project seem grim, but this new plan may change the project’s outlook.  Compromise is needed to successfully complete any infrastructure project, which is a fact that some opponents of the revised plan should consider.


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