Going on the Rails on a Crazy Train
Study Find Trains Best Transportation Solution for California
Building a high-speed rail system that would connect California’s major cities would be more cost-effective and less environmentally destructive than expanding the state’s highways and airports, says a long-awaited government environmental study released today. The study — which considered ways of linking the Bay Area and San Francisco with Los Angeles and San Diego to accommodate population growth over the next two decades — considered three alternatives: increasing traffic flow on existing transportation infrastructure, building new highways and expanding airports, and constructing a high-speed rail system. It concluded that the first would result in unacceptable gridlock and the second would be very pricey, while the third — the rail system — would smooth out many transportation wrinkles for less than half the cost of new highway and airport construction, and with fewer environmental impacts. But new trains may not get rolling anytime soon, as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) recently asked California legislators to remove from the November ballot a $10 billion bond measure that would raise money for high-speed rail.