Press Release: High-Speed Rail Will Deliver Growth, Improve Access to Jobs in California

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2011

We commend Chairman John Mica and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for holding a hearing today to focus on the viability of high-speed rail in California.

Our research indicates that there are two markets in the nation that have the concentrations of population, employment, and existing travel markets to support high-speed passenger rail today: California and the Northeast. California, having started planning this project in the mid-1990s, is now poised to be the first state in the nation to build world-class high-speed rail. In doing so, it will transform the state's geography, shrinking time distances among the state's major job centers and connecting California residents to economic opportunity for decades to come.
With California poised to add more than 20 million people in the next 40 years, high-speed rail is the most energy- and land-efficient way to provide capacity for increased, reliable travel in the state's most congested corridors. When well-planned, high-speed rail acts as an anchor and catalyst to revitalize city and town centers. Even small improvements to conventional rail services, such as the upgrades to Northern California's San Jose-Oakland-Sacramento corridor, have had a profound effect on cities that they serve, such as Emeryville, which has attracted major investment and employers, like Pixar, to its station area since the station was rebuilt in 1994.

California high-speed rail will shrink time distances in the state, opening up the job markets of the Bay Area and the Los Angeles basin to residents in the Central Valley.

"California is faced with unavoidable costs to meet the transportation needs of its future population," said Petra Todorovich, director of America 2050, a Regional Plan Association initiative. "These needs can be met with high-speed rail, or they can be addressed by spending far more to build added highway lane miles, airport gates, and runways. Without high-speed rail, California's already-jammed highways and airports will grow more clogged, and air quality and residents' health will suffer."
 
About America 2050: America 2050 is Regional Plan Association's program to develop an infrastructure plan and growth strategy for the U.S. For more information, please visit www.america2050.org