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-   -   California High Speed Rail Thread (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=180558)

pesto Nov 4, 2011 5:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5466865)
pesto:


Sacramento, with 2M people, is about 80-100 miles from the Bay Area. San Diego County, with 3.5M people is 100-120 miles from Los Angeles. These are medium distance trips with sufficient population (and indeed a record of proven ridership on passenger rail for high speed rail to be successful. It won't happen, but as you've advocated perhaps these two segments should have been upgraded first. I think roughly there is another 3-4M people living in the Central Valley, including 1M people in the Fresno region.

Agree completely. Sacto to SJ (with a connection at Oakland into SF) would be very popular, lead to growth in DT Oakland and SJ. LA to SD via the OC is another obvious route. When it would be finished (say 10 years?) those areas would be pretty much populated the whole way.

M II A II R II K Nov 4, 2011 6:50 PM

Editorial: Realistic plan for high-speed rail requires patience


Read More: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/03/402...#ixzz1clQZJrpM

Quote:

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin has the right perspective on high-speed rail. She recalls I-5, which took from 1947 to 1979 to complete, segment-by-segment. "It began in the Central Valley," she notes. "It was called the 'road to nowhere.' It was called 'too expensive.' Today, it is the backbone of surface transportation in California." The latest business plan from the California High-Speed Rail Authority will not change the minds of long-time critics – there's still too much unknown about this major infrastructure project that will take decades to complete. But it should provide comfort to those who do believe that rail should be a part of California's 21st-century transportation network.

The new plan is much more explicit about tying the system together with existing commuter and intercity rail systems, promising "connections at all new high-speed rail stations to existing regional and local transit systems." In particular, the new plan calls for getting spending under way quickly using $950 million set aside by voters in Proposition 1A for regional and local rail improvements. That's important politically, too, because calling for early investments in the regional rail systems helps to build a constituency to build the backbone of the high-speed rail system in the Central Valley.

.....



Passengers board high-speed trains at Madrid's Atocha rail station last month. Spain completed its first high-speed line from Madrid to Seville in 1991, but then had to build the rest of its current network in increments over 17 years.

http://media.sacbee.com/smedia/2011/...wbIyx.Xl.4.jpg

skyscraperfan23 Nov 4, 2011 11:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by North_Regina_Boy (Post 5466400)
You know a lot of the people who reject this kind of transportation forget one BIG thing. In the 1940s the US Interstate system (and before that, the US Highway system) was created. MOST of the people currently using this system didn't drive or maybe even exist in that era. So as to say the people of the 1940s and 1950s might of been protesting because they wouldn't be able to benefit as we are now.

Infrastructure spending must be spent with the idea that 50 years is a relatively short time period (I know its hard to comprehend) but that is the reality.

Another quick point... Part of getting out of a recession is to spend capital dollars to get people working; And another thing WE as a people are lazy... Back in the 1940s and 50s people jumped over each other to get a job on the interstate system. Nowadays we seem to just complain about everything and blame others instead of trying to make our situation better.

That is today's reality and that is my two cents. I for one would LOVE to see CHSR and the Las Vegas link... Stupid Florida killed theirs, but at least the North-East corridor is getting 2.4B in capital funds to make that neck of the woods better.

Because floridians learn to stop spending, we are spending too much money that we don't have, stop spending overseas and use that money here.

202_Cyclist Nov 5, 2011 3:40 PM

skyscraperfan23:
Quote:

Because floridians learn to stop spending, we are spending too much money that we don't have, stop spending overseas and use that money here.
Have you read the Transport Politic post above? Despite current budget constraints, we are not broke. If we have a deficit of anything, it is political courage to invest in infrastructure that will make the United States competitive in the 21st century. Using the most conservative assumption of no economic growth, California's GDP between 2011-2033 (when high speed rail is expected to be completed) is $42 trillion. High speed rail is expected to cost between $74B - $98B, depending on the rate of inflation and whether the contingency fund is used. $98B out of $42 trillion is a proverbial fart in a gale.

Despite the Any Rand-fetishes, stopping spending is absolutely the worst thing we can do in the short-term. Consumer spending and business investment has traditionally been 70-75% of the US economy. Consumer savings rates are now 5-8% (http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/...10/spn1001.pdf) According to an IMF analysis, this "implies a significantly lower share of private
sector demand in GDP by about 3 percentage points compared to the pre-crisis (2003–07) average." Businesses are also not investing because of uncertain demand, despite earning record profits. Similarly, state and local governments have laid off hundreds of thousands of employees and have massively slashed their spending. If consumers, businesses, and state/local governments are not spending, what is to keep the economy from falling back into recession?

Now is exactly the time we should be investing in our $2.2 trillion infrastructure shortfall. Interest rates are near record lows, labor costs are stagnant, and prices of raw materials have moderated. This would create a lot more jobs than further tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires.

202_Cyclist Nov 5, 2011 4:10 PM

skyscraperfan23:
Quote:

Because floridians learn to stop spending, we are spending too much money that we don't have, stop spending overseas and use that money here.
Despite what Glenn Beck or Ann Coulter may have told you, our foreign aid budget is about one half of one percent of total federal spending and most of that goes to making sure Egypt and Israel play nice.

If however, you want to reduce the $300B we spend every single year on foreign oil, as well as stop spending $10B on the endless Middle East tribal feuds of Afghanistan and Iraq (which thankfully is coming to an end), I completely support this. We'll need sustainable transportation (improved passenger rail) however, to do this.

s.p.hansen Nov 5, 2011 5:06 PM

In the Mountain West, if we can get away with it, we generally always elevate our freeways by bringing in a ton of dirt and then pave the road on top of it. Whenever you need paths to pass under it, you simply dig out a section of the elevated roadbed and create an overpass to bridge the freeway across the gap. This is cheaper to build and easier to maintain.

So this may be a dumb question, but why is California insisting upon elevating High Speed Rail with huge concrete piers?


Video Link

dimondpark Nov 5, 2011 5:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJM19 (Post 5467283)
Required reading:

High Costs Threaten California’s High-Speed Rail Project, But the Wider Context Must be Understood

http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/w...1/11/CAHSR.jpg

Basically, Caltrans will spend a LOT more on roads in the same time span, and even a lot more beyond that if we don't build HSR.

At this point, I have zero faith in any report issued by the CAHSR authority.

They have proven themselves to be incapable of giving us a straight answer on the financials of their own project. So why the heck should we believe anything they have to say regarding other modes of transportation?:haha:

dimondpark Nov 5, 2011 5:30 PM

This is a scathing indictment of the arrogance of the CAHSR Authority:
Video Link


They are treating the Central Valley like a red-headed stepchild.

And that's one thing, but those Peninsula towns are going to nail their asses to the wall.:haha:

skyscraperfan23 Nov 5, 2011 6:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5469272)
skyscraperfan23:


Despite what Glenn Beck or Ann Coulter may have told you, our foreign aid budget is about one half of one percent of total federal spending and most of that goes to making sure Egypt and Israel play nice.

If however, you want to reduce the $300B we spend every single year on foreign oil, as well as stop spending $10B on the endless Middle East tribal feuds of Afghanistan and Iraq (which thankfully is coming to an end), I completely support this. We'll need sustainable transportation (improved passenger rail) however, to do this.

Cut Foreign aid and use that money for transportation.

skyscraperfan23 Nov 5, 2011 6:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5469245)
skyscraperfan23:


Have you read the Transport Politic post above? Despite current budget constraints, we are not broke. If we have a deficit of anything, it is political courage to invest in infrastructure that will make the United States competitive in the 21st century. Using the most conservative assumption of no economic growth, California's GDP between 2011-2033 (when high speed rail is expected to be completed) is $42 trillion. High speed rail is expected to cost between $74B - $98B, depending on the rate of inflation and whether the contingency fund is used. $98B out of $42 trillion is a proverbial fart in a gale.

Despite the Any Rand-fetishes, stopping spending is absolutely the worst thing we can do in the short-term. Consumer spending and business investment has traditionally been 70-75% of the US economy. Consumer savings rates are now 5-8% (http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/...10/spn1001.pdf) According to an IMF analysis, this "implies a significantly lower share of private
sector demand in GDP by about 3 percentage points compared to the pre-crisis (2003–07) average." Businesses are also not investing because of uncertain demand, despite earning record profits. Similarly, state and local governments have laid off hundreds of thousands of employees and have massively slashed their spending. If consumers, businesses, and state/local governments are not spending, what is to keep the economy from falling back into recession?

Now is exactly the time we should be investing in our $2.2 trillion infrastructure shortfall. Interest rates are near record lows, labor costs are stagnant, and prices of raw materials have moderated. This would create a lot more jobs than further tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires.

But federal government intervention is not the answer either, end the income tax, that is why I Like ron paul's ecomonic plan.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG7guBRY7-g

202_Cyclist Nov 5, 2011 7:54 PM

skyscraperfan23::
Quote:

Cut Foreign aid and use that money for transportation.
You do realize you have no idea what you're talking about. The US foreign aid budget is less than one percent of the total federal budget. The FY2011 US DOT budget was $75B. The entire FY2011 foreign aid budget was less than $35B (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2...ince-1977.html). Again, we have a $2.2 trillion infrastructure deficit. We can eliminate our entire foreign aid and it would make almost no impact on transportation.

skyscraperfan23:
Quote:

But federal government intervention is not the answer either, end the income tax, that is why I Like ron paul's ecomonic plan.
How do you propose paying for transportation? You do realize that the highway trust fund has required bailouts of $7B -$8B each year for the past four years--- this is paid for by income taxes. Should we raise the gas tax? Vehicle miles traveled fee? Create a national infrastructure bank that would encourage much greater private sector investment but that Rep. John Mica (R-FL) declared "dead on arrival." The invisible hand is not going to pave roads. The generosity of Goldmann Sachs or Bank of America isn't going to repair our bridges.

s.p.hansen Nov 5, 2011 8:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skyscraperfan23 (Post 5469392)
But federal government intervention is not the answer either, end the income tax, that is why I Like ron paul's ecomonic plan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pG7guBRY7-g


I'm assuming that you're just trolling, but hey, let me throw a basic question your way.

In a developing country like China who is using their taxes to build solid new systems of infrastructure and in a Tea Party Fantasy of the United States where cities must rely on the private sector to fund infrastructure, which place is more likely to attract small and large businesses?

Hint: It's the same place that is currently attracting more small and large businesses.

M II A II R II K Nov 6, 2011 2:26 PM

California rail agency requests billions to start construction


Read More: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,1321051.story

Quote:

California's bullet train agency on Thursday formally requested a multibillion-dollar appropriation to start construction next year, after dozens of people from across the state attacked the $98-billion project's cost, rationale and effects on communities. The California High Speed Rail Authority board adopted a funding plan, which seeks to tap $3.3 billion in federal grants and $2.7 billion in state bonds to begin building an initial 140-mile segment of track through the Central Valley. That non-operational segment would run mostly through farmland from Chowchilla to Bakersfield.

The request now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown's administration and then the Legislature, where it will face tough scrutiny by lawmakers concerned about where they will find more than $90 billion to finish the system — described as the largest infrastructure project in the nation. In a new business plan announced Tuesday, the authority said it hopes to get billions in private investments, additional federal funding and proceeds from a new U.S. bond program that will require congressional approval. Critics note that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has vowed to stop all federal funding for the project.

.....



http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2011-11/65862977.jpg

202_Cyclist Nov 6, 2011 2:30 PM

Once again, as has been pointed out numerous times but is still often ignored by the Ayn Rand-disciples and neo-Hoovers, the cost of not building high speed rail is not zero. We know we're going to (or at least should be if we want to remain an economically competitive country) need to build hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure in the coming decades. We should be investing in modes of transportation that do not encourage sprawl (with the wasteful traffic that results), that does something to reduce the US consuming 1/4 of the world's oil, and that encourages much greater productivity.

Alarming state report predicts $294 billion shortfall for transportation over next decade

San Jose Mercury
11/5/2011
http://www.mercurynews.com/traffic/c...015?source=rss

The suggestion made above that we can take care of our national $2.2 trillion infrastructure shortfall if we just spent a few billion dollars less on AIDS drugs for Africa or not helping to provide clean drinking water for a couple of impoverished countries is laughable.

pesto Nov 6, 2011 6:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by s.p.hansen (Post 5469464)
I'm assuming that you're just trolling, but hey, let me throw a basic question your way.

In a developing country like China who is using their taxes to build solid new systems of infrastructure and in a Tea Party Fantasy of the United States where cities must rely on the private sector to fund infrastructure, which place is more likely to attract small and large businesses?

Hint: It's the same place that is currently attracting more small and large businesses.

An interesting way of expressing it. How about instead: the country where the govt. is over-taxing and over-regulating businesses to meet short-term political ends to stay in power vs. the country where the govt. has told the people: stay out of business's way or you will be swiftly dealt with without discussion or recourse.

An unhappy choice for each country; but it's clear that business would prefer the latter.

pesto Nov 6, 2011 6:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5470031)
Once again, as has been pointed out numerous times but is still often ignored by the Ayn Rand-disciples and neo-Hoovers, the cost of not building high speed rail is not zero. We know we're going to (or at least should be if we want to remain an economically competitive country) need to build hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure in the coming decades. We should be investing in modes of transportation that do not encourage sprawl (with the wasteful traffic that results), that does something to reduce the US consuming 1/4 of the world's oil, and that encourages much greater productivity.

Alarming state report predicts $294 billion shortfall for transportation over next decade

San Jose Mercury
11/5/2011
http://www.mercurynews.com/traffic/c...015?source=rss

The suggestion made above that we can take care of our national $2.2 trillion infrastructure shortfall if we just spent a few billion dollars less on AIDS drugs for Africa or not helping to provide clean drinking water for a couple of impoverished countries is laughable.

You have to get over name-calling and especially over oil. I don't believe that there is anyone left who believes that commuter cars will be primarily oil driven in 25 years when HSR is done.

Interestingy, solar is now slipping as a generator of electricity as the technical advances in natural gas recovery have continued. However, the solar advocates are confident that they have innovations coming soon that will push down their cost of production. Ethanol and wind also claim they can be the cost leader. A fascinating field to watch in the near future. This should result in lower costs for rail as well.

Unfortunately, sprawl is now just a fact in California; it can't be undone. The best way to mitigate it is to make rapid rail connections from Union Station to Palmdale, Riverside and Irvine; and Sacto. to SJ. Plus subways within the central LA region.

Gordo Nov 6, 2011 6:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5470218)
You have to get over name-calling and especially over oil. I don't believe that there is anyone left who believes that commuter cars will be primarily oil driven in 25 years when HSR is done.

Um, I certainly don't believe that the majority of cars will be non-oil driven is just 25 short years :haha:

Given the current political incentives, I think there's just as much a chance that we'll see gasoline directly subsidized to keep prices reasonable as anything else in 25 years.

If we've seen anything from this HSR project, there is a lack of will to use government power to push through big projects without being nickel and dimed by various small stakeholders (call them NIMBYs, whatever) or gouged by contractor cost inflation (a US-specific problem across all projects, not just transit). I don't see why this would be different in developing the new infrastructure needed for large-scale movement to new car types. Easier to just kick the can down the road. We're finishing up a Bay Bridge that was 400%+ over budget, and there were zero political consequences to that...but talk of any type of increase in gas tax is a political third rail. "Market" prices in gasoline will simply not go up enough to make the switch that you're implying in that time period, without some major switch in current geo-political realities.

Now, maybe if we have some type of complete political meltdown (national or state level) and re-writing of the current constitutions and/or political structures, maybe.

Onn Nov 6, 2011 6:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5470031)
Once again, as has been pointed out numerous times but is still often ignored by the Ayn Rand-disciples and neo-Hoovers, the cost of not building high speed rail is not zero. We know we're going to (or at least should be if we want to remain an economically competitive country) need to build hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure in the coming decades. We should be investing in modes of transportation that do not encourage sprawl (with the wasteful traffic that results), that does something to reduce the US consuming 1/4 of the world's oil, and that encourages much greater productivity.

California is BANKRUPT. Productivity also DOES NOT equal economic gains. That's exactly what Obama thought when putting togther the stimulus package, he failed miserably with that. The government has no money for such a white elephant. Not saying cars don't need to change, but you have to let the free market come up with a better soultion. I'm not sure high-speed rail will ever catch on in this country.

202_Cyclist Nov 6, 2011 7:48 PM

Onn:
Quote:

California is BANKRUPT. Productivity also DOES NOT equal economic gains. That's exactly what Obama thought when putting togther the stimulus package, he failed miserably with that. The government has no money for such a white elephant. Not saying cars don't need to change, but you have to let the free market come up with a better soultion. I'm not sure high-speed rail will ever catch on in this country.
Again, 100% pure nonsense. First, the stimulus did not fail miserably. Most economists, including Mark Zandi, an advisor to John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008, agree that the stimulus both created jobs and prevented unemployment from being much worse than it otherwise is. The 'socialist' stimulus had $350B for tax cuts and tax credits. This compares with $48B for transportation. The stimulus had something like eight times more money for tax cuts than infrastructure yet somehow we're to believe its a huge socialist expansion of govt because a Democrat enacted it.

Second, we certainly don't have a free market for transportation right now. Far from it. Automobiles and auto-dependent sprawl is heavily subsidized. The highway trust fund had to be bailed out with $7B-$8B each year for the past four years from the general fund. This is a subsidy for drivers from taxpayers. Pew published a report last year that showed the federal gas tax only pays for about 50% of interstate maintenance and construction. The rest is subsidized. No free market here. It is even worse with state/local roads, which are paid for by sales taxes, property taxes, bonds, and development impact fees, all subsidizing driving and, certainly no free market. Additionally, as Tyler Cowen and others have noted, parking is at least a $100B subsidy per year. Finally, the oil that powers cars is heavily subsidized. RAND published a report a few years ago that estimated the cost of keeping the US 5th Fleet in the Middle East to protect US access to oil is between $29B - $143B every single year. Certainly no free market with this.

s.p.hansen Nov 6, 2011 8:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5470203)
An interesting way of expressing it. How about instead: the country where the govt. is over-taxing and over-regulating businesses to meet short-term political ends to stay in power vs. the country where the govt. has told the people: stay out of business's way or you will be swiftly dealt with without discussion or recourse.

An unhappy choice for each country; but it's clear that business would prefer the latter.

So unless you're already speaking to the converted flock of tea party people, you need to do a lot more than simply state that we are over-taxed and over-regulated. I mean, how do you know that's really the problem? It comes across like you are assuming that there is some kind of non-material external reality in which ideas of everything exist in perfection and that you have access to such a realm which gives you the ability to compare the situation we are all experiencing with your privileged view; surely elitism at its worst.

While you have access to this realm could you also tell us what the perfect dimensions of a brick would be, or better yet, while you have access to this extra-human godlike point of view, can you tell us whose version of history was the correct one? Economic positions and politics aren't mystical experiences that you just know the answer to in your gut, leave that to spiritual and aesthetic matters.

Seriously pesto, either take the time to give us a thought out narrative as to why America's investment in infrastructure didn't precede our most powerful economy in the world status or take your ball and go home. If you come up with a well thought out narrative (one that uses explanations that move beyond appeals to the authority of yourself or your like-minded friends), then try and tie that into the California High Speed Rail project and argue for or against it.

skyscraperfan23 Nov 6, 2011 8:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5470303)
Onn:


Again, 100% pure nonsense. First, the stimulus did not fail miserably. Most economists, including Mark Zandi, an advisor to John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008, agree that the stimulus both created jobs and prevented unemployment from being much worse than it otherwise is. The 'socialist' stimulus had $350B for tax cuts and tax credits. This compares with $48B for transportation. The stimulus had something like eight times more money for tax cuts than infrastructure yet somehow we're to believe its a huge socialist expansion of govt because a Democrat enacted it.

Second, we certainly don't have a free market for transportation right now. Far from it. Automobiles and auto-dependent sprawl is heavily subsidized. The highway trust fund had to be bailed out with $7B-$8B each year for the past four years from the general fund. This is a subsidy for drivers from taxpayers. Pew published a report last year that showed the federal gas tax only pays for about 50% of interstate maintenance and construction. The rest is subsidized. No free market here. It is even worse with state/local roads, which are paid for by sales taxes, property taxes, bonds, and development impact fees, all subsidizing driving and, certainly no free market. Additionally, as Tyler Cowen and others have noted, parking is at least a $100B subsidy per year. Finally, the oil that powers cars is heavily subsidized. RAND published a report a few years ago that estimated the cost of keeping the US 5th Fleet in the Middle East to protect US access to oil is between $29B - $143B every single year. Certainly no free market with this.

The Stimulus has failed, there is no recovery, it's all a coverup.

s.p.hansen Nov 6, 2011 8:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skyscraperfan23 (Post 5470341)
The Stimulus has failed, there is no recovery, it's all a coverup.

Nice rebuttal skyscraperfan23, I'm sure you probably typed this brief and insightful addition to the conversation on one of your brief breaks from either planning rocket trajectories or doing frontal lobe surgeries.

202_Cyclist Nov 6, 2011 8:47 PM

Skyscraperfan23:
Quote:

The Stimulus has failed, there is no recovery, it's all a coverup.
I think you have your tinfoil hat on a little too tight. It's starting to kill brain cells.

skyscraperfan23 Nov 6, 2011 8:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by s.p.hansen (Post 5470365)
Nice rebuttal skyscraperfan23, I'm sure you probably typed this brief and insightful addition to the conversation on one of your brief breaks from either planning rocket trajectories or doing frontal lobe surgeries.

No wonder liberals are pure sheep especially this one.

The U.S. is broke, because of the federal reserve and you are part of the problem.

LosAngelesSportsFan Nov 6, 2011 9:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist (Post 5470303)
Onn:


Again, 100% pure nonsense. First, the stimulus did not fail miserably. Most economists, including Mark Zandi, an advisor to John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008, agree that the stimulus both created jobs and prevented unemployment from being much worse than it otherwise is. The 'socialist' stimulus had $350B for tax cuts and tax credits. This compares with $48B for transportation. The stimulus had something like eight times more money for tax cuts than infrastructure yet somehow we're to believe its a huge socialist expansion of govt because a Democrat enacted it.

Second, we certainly don't have a free market for transportation right now. Far from it. Automobiles and auto-dependent sprawl is heavily subsidized. The highway trust fund had to be bailed out with $7B-$8B each year for the past four years from the general fund. This is a subsidy for drivers from taxpayers. Pew published a report last year that showed the federal gas tax only pays for about 50% of interstate maintenance and construction. The rest is subsidized. No free market here. It is even worse with state/local roads, which are paid for by sales taxes, property taxes, bonds, and development impact fees, all subsidizing driving and, certainly no free market. Additionally, as Tyler Cowen and others have noted, parking is at least a $100B subsidy per year. Finally, the oil that powers cars is heavily subsidized. RAND published a report a few years ago that estimated the cost of keeping the US 5th Fleet in the Middle East to protect US access to oil is between $29B - $143B every single year. Certainly no free market with this.

edit

skyscraperfan23 Nov 6, 2011 9:38 PM

If any of you think the so-called stimulus bill has worked need to get their a** checked.
this is why nobama is better than the incompetent bush.

s.p.hansen Nov 6, 2011 9:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skyscraperfan23 (Post 5470408)
If any of you think the so-called stimulus bill has worked need to get their a** checked.
this is why nobama is better than the incompetent bush.

Interesting, I assume this will be part of your dissertation on colon cancer's effects in diminishing stimulus funds. I look forward to reading about it in a scholarly journal.

As much as we enjoy watching you learn how to communicate, do you think you could somehow tie this back into High Speed Rail in California?

bmfarley Nov 6, 2011 11:38 PM

I am thinking this site is not being moderated.

LosAngelesSportsFan Nov 7, 2011 2:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skyscraperfan23 (Post 5470408)
If any of you think the so-called stimulus bill has worked need to get their a** checked.
this is why nobama is better than the incompetent bush.

you really have zero idea what you are talking about, but ill stop there. lets get back on track.

dimondpark Nov 7, 2011 3:03 PM

Wait a sec, that $98 Billion is just for the first phase?:haha:

And why is it that China can build things in a few years but the first phase of the CAHSR wont be done till 2033-at the earliest? By then won't the technology be totally outdated?

Quote:

San Diego, Sacramento left out of rail system
By ELLIOT SPAGAT Associated Press
Updated: 11/01/2011 06:05:22 PM PDT

SAN DIEGO—The $98 billion price tag of the first phase of California's high-speed rail system would not be enough to link two key cities—San Diego and Sacramento—to the line.

The initial phase of California's proposed high-speed rail system would stretch from San Francisco to Anaheim, a plan that was put before voters in 2008, when they approved $9 billion in bond funding.

Connections to Sacramento, which draws lobbyists, interest groups and others from throughout the state, and San Diego, California's second most-populous city, are included in a second phase of the planned high-speed rail system.

Just when those connections might be made is anyone's guess. If approved by the Legislature, the first phase would not be completed until 2033, at the earliest.

The situation left some officials in San Diego seething on Tuesday, when the rail system's business plan was released.

The city has 1.3 million people and is a major tourism destination. Interstate 5 is choked daily with motorists going back and forth to Orange County and the Los Angeles area.

"It's like saying you're not going to be part of the state, the second-largest county in the state," San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts said...

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_19242344


202_Cyclist Nov 7, 2011 3:58 PM

I'm not going to try to defend every decision made by the CA High Speed Rail Authority and I agree with others who've posted here that CA should use its limited bond money and federal funds (I realize this isn't possible because of ARRA restrictions) to upgrade the existing rail service between SJ - Sacramento and LA - San Diego first.

That said, however, the alternative to high speed rail is spending tens of billions of dollars on new highways, widened highways, and airport expansion. Spending tens of billions of dollars on these projects doesn't do anything to limit sprawl or build walkable communities, does little to reduce some of the nation's worst highway and airport congestion (SFO is ranked among the most delayed airports this year), and does nothing to reduce some of the 35,000 annual highway fatalities.

We know growth is coming and by 2070-2080, there will be tens of millions more people living in California. The alternative to high speed rail is likely paving over every remaining bit of open space in CA.

This is also a good time to remind everyone of the double-standard applied to transit and passenger rail. Vehicle miles traveled were down 1.8 percent last year, while Amtrak ridership was up 5-6% this past year but we don't hear any of the same criticisms that I-5 or any of the other roads in CA have a failed business model. Similarly, you can be pretty certain if this sprawl-inducing project linked below goes through there will be cost-overruns and will end up costing perhaps twice as much but there won't be any of the same hand-wringing that there is with high speed rail.

O.C. toll road agency is studying 241 extension — again
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...442,full.story

202_Cyclist Nov 7, 2011 4:41 PM

pesto:
Quote:

Interestingy, solar is now slipping as a generator of electricity as the technical advances in natural gas recovery have continued. However, the solar advocates are confident that they have innovations coming soon that will push down their cost of production. Ethanol and wind also claim they can be the cost leader. A fascinating field to watch in the near future. This should result in lower costs for rail as well.
Paul Krugman has a good column today about the rapid advances and the falling prices for solar, making this source of energy much more competitive.

Here Comes the Sun
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/07/op...ar-energy.html

I agree with you about the rapid advances in natural gas extraction. Someone from the Energy Information Administration noted that up until the early part of the last decade, oil and natural gas prices were roughly similar but now natural gas is much cheaper. The US has abundant supplies of natural gas, especially in the plains states and Pennsylvania. These are not without serious health and environmental concerns, but the new natural gas extraction techniques, along with the discovery of vast supplies of natural gas has the potential to greatly transform our energy consumption.

It's unfortunate that all you hear about recently is the Washington-manufactured Solyndra scandal/hype but the availability of huge reserves of natural gas here in the US, combined with the dramatic innovations in electric vehicles, has the ability to also dramatically change our transportation system. Every single day, there must be ten articles in the newspapers about new cooperative agreements to develop electrical cars, new facilities to produce these opening, new models being planned, and other significant breakthroughs. This, combined with the natural gas, is nothing less than hugely beneficial, giving us the opportunity to reduce our carbon emissions by half or more and reducing some of the $300B we spend every single year on foreign oil.

If electric vehicles make driving a lot cheaper, as you believe it will, then as the marginal cost of driving falls, you can expect vehicle miles traveled to increase. Congestion pricing can help address some of this additional demand for auto travel, but good passenger rail will also need to be part of the solution.

Here are two must-read editorials about this new energy future for the United States.

Oil’s new world order

By Daniel Yergin
Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...w7L_story.html

Shale Gas Revolution

By David Brooks
New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/04/op...evolution.html

pesto Nov 7, 2011 4:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by s.p.hansen (Post 5470312)
So unless you're already speaking to the converted flock of tea party people, you need to do a lot more than simply state that we are over-taxed and over-regulated. I mean, how do you know that's really the problem? It comes across like you are assuming that there is some kind of non-material external reality in which ideas of everything exist in perfection and that you have access to such a realm which gives you the ability to compare the situation we are all experiencing with your privileged view; surely elitism at its worst.

While you have access to this realm could you also tell us what the perfect dimensions of a brick would be, or better yet, while you have access to this extra-human godlike point of view, can you tell us whose version of history was the correct one? Economic positions and politics aren't mystical experiences that you just know the answer to in your gut, leave that to spiritual and aesthetic matters.

Seriously pesto, either take the time to give us a thought out narrative as to why America's investment in infrastructure didn't precede our most powerful economy in the world status or take your ball and go home. If you come up with a well thought out narrative (one that uses explanations that move beyond appeals to the authority of yourself or your like-minded friends), then try and tie that into the California High Speed Rail project and argue for or against it.

I am on-board for the "non-God-like" approach to governance and the economy. That's why I want the govt. to take a low profile and let every small (or big) guy with an idea to go after it. The rest of your discussion I couldn't really follow except you seem to believe that infrastructure is important to economic development? I definitely agree.

Fortunately, we don't need to discuss over-regulation; both the current administration and the GOP agree that it is a problem (note the "cutting of redtape" for LA subway projects by special order from the Prez). California has just gutted its environmental laws for large projects (that's a state 100% controlled by Dems.).

As you can see, this is not a party issue; it's a good governance and fiscal responsibility issue. Have you been watching the Calif. DEMOCRATS savaging HSR? To condense the story, their audit committee first told them to improve and clarify their plans, then said it wouldn't work. HSR is now on its 3rd iteration, each of which gets more expensive and fewer riders. Try to think like its YOUR money that's being spent not like your going to let your children pick up the tab.

202_Cyclist Nov 7, 2011 5:06 PM

This is from today's Sacramento Bee. One of my friends works in govt affairs for Amtrak, so I'll try to find more information about this proposal. I just hope the train doesn't get stuck in Lodi.

"Those officials say they can leverage that revenue with private investments to build an extension between Merced and Sacramento. Still, Sacramento could find itself sitting on the sidelines as bullet trains speed up the Valley, turn left at Merced, and head to the Bay Area.

To avoid that, a group of north Central Valley cities, counties and rail agencies, including Amtrak, are teaming to lay plans for a local, interim rail line, on existing tracks, that would carry passengers between Sacramento and a Merced high-speed rail station. It would likely have stops in Elk Grove, Lodi, Stockton and other cities.

High-speed rail officials like the idea and are chipping in to help study it. Ultimately, the line could be electrified for bullet trains..."


Sacramento plans a station for high-speed rail

By Tony Bizjak
Sacramento Bee
Nov. 7, 2011

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/07/403...nto-plans.html

pesto Nov 7, 2011 5:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gordo (Post 5470229)
Um, I certainly don't believe that the majority of cars will be non-oil driven is just 25 short years :haha:

Given the current political incentives, I think there's just as much a chance that we'll see gasoline directly subsidized to keep prices reasonable as anything else in 25 years.

If we've seen anything from this HSR project, there is a lack of will to use government power to push through big projects without being nickel and dimed by various small stakeholders (call them NIMBYs, whatever) or gouged by contractor cost inflation (a US-specific problem across all projects, not just transit). I don't see why this would be different in developing the new infrastructure needed for large-scale movement to new car types. Easier to just kick the can down the road. We're finishing up a Bay Bridge that was 400%+ over budget, and there were zero political consequences to that...but talk of any type of increase in gas tax is a political third rail. "Market" prices in gasoline will simply not go up enough to make the switch that you're implying in that time period, without some major switch in current geo-political realities.

Now, maybe if we have some type of complete political meltdown (national or state level) and re-writing of the current constitutions and/or political structures, maybe.

Gordo: please no doom's day scenarios! Just when Peak Oil theorists are dying out!

I don't believe oil will disappear from larger, sportier vehicles for many years; I wouldn't even guess how long because who really knows. I am only claiming that most small and mid-sized commuter cars in the LA and Bay areas will be electric in 25 years. This is believed by many in the industry.

But if, as you suggest, the price of oil does not go up in price, as OPEC is forced to react to alternative suppliers of energy, so much the better. Then gasoline powered cars will continue indefinitely at a reasonable price.

202_Cyclist Nov 7, 2011 5:39 PM

I agree with pesto on this one. I'm extremely bullish on the potential for electric and plug-in electric vehicles. As I posted above, the widespread adoption of these vehicles is going to be one of the most transformative developments in transportation in decades.

Here is a presentation from the annual Transportation Research Board meeting a few years ago by an analyst from Booz Allen who predicted by 2030 nearly thirty percent of vehicles sold in the US will be either electric or plug-in electric vehicles. Given that the US consumes nearly one-fourth of the world's oil and vehicles are responsible for 50-60% of that consumption, if this prediction plays out, it is nothing less than excellent news for the United States (especially given that IAEA just announced today that Iran is signfiicantly closer to developing nuclear weapons).

Vehicle Electrification – So How Close are We?
http://cta.ornl.gov/TRBenergy/trb_do...sion%20538.pdf

s.p.hansen Nov 7, 2011 9:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pesto (Post 5471270)
I am on-board for the "non-God-like" approach to governance and the economy. That's why I want the govt. to take a low profile and let every small (or big) guy with an idea to go after it. The rest of your discussion I couldn't really follow except you seem to believe that infrastructure is important to economic development? I definitely agree.

Fortunately, we don't need to discuss over-regulation; both the current administration and the GOP agree that it is a problem (note the "cutting of redtape" for LA subway projects by special order from the Prez). California has just gutted its environmental laws for large projects (that's a state 100% controlled by Dems.).

As you can see, this is not a party issue; it's a good governance and fiscal responsibility issue. Have you been watching the Calif. DEMOCRATS savaging HSR? To condense the story, their audit committee first told them to improve and clarify their plans, then said it wouldn't work. HSR is now on its 3rd iteration, each of which gets more expensive and fewer riders. Try to think like its YOUR money that's being spent not like your going to let your children pick up the tab.

I think enough evidence has been put on the table in this thread that overhauling California airports and freeways to better handle the movement of goods and people is still going to create a sizable commitment of funds. The whole kids picking up the tab in the future discussion is much more applicable to entitlements pertaining to healthcare and social security and then to our cold war military in a post cold war era (something like 68% of the national debt is owed to US government and to citizens in their retirement and healthcare, not to other countries); the only thing our children can really default on is themselves with their own benefits (which is what conservatives in the Tea Party want anyway). Look at how much of our GDP goes to infrastructure and then please proportionally adjust your spending angst accordingly.

fflint Nov 8, 2011 4:11 AM

It's not obviously true cars in LA and SF will be all electric in 25 years. Even if it were true, California would still need to spend vast sums to move the growing population up and down the state. We can spend $100B on HSR, or we can spend $200B on paving more of the state for congested freeways and filling in the bay for more congested airport runways. The 5 freeway is already hell at busy times of the year, and the Southland-Bay Area air corridor is already the nation's busiest. We need rail to complete our transportation network and adequately handle new growth. Rail antagonists love to claim Californians won't ride trains, but the astronomical growth not only in local public transit sytems, but also in inter-city Amtrak California lines--just in our lifetimes--shows otherwise.

202_Cyclist Nov 11, 2011 2:48 PM

Brown will ask legislators to OK billions for bullet train (LA Times)
 
Brown will ask legislators to OK billions for bullet train

The governor says the state will have a broad need for the system in the long term and that high-speed rail is a cheaper alternative to more highway and commercial aviation investments.

By Ralph Vartabedian and Dan Weikel
Los Angeles Times
November 11, 2011

"Gov. Jerry Brown said Thursday that he will formally request that the Legislature approve billions of dollars to start construction of the California bullet train next year and will work hard to persuade skeptical lawmakers that the project is critical to the state's future.

In his first extended remarks on the $98.5-billion project since a controversial business plan was unveiled last week, Brown said that the state will have a broad need for the system in the long term and that it represents a significantly cheaper alternative to additional highway and commercial aviation investments.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...,6770873.story

hammersklavier Nov 11, 2011 2:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by s.p.hansen (Post 5469318)
In the Mountain West, if we can get away with it, we generally always elevate our freeways by bringing in a ton of dirt and then pave the road on top of it. Whenever you need paths to pass under it, you simply dig out a section of the elevated roadbed and create an overpass to bridge the freeway across the gap. This is cheaper to build and easier to maintain.

So this may be a dumb question, but why is California insisting upon elevating High Speed Rail with huge concrete piers?


Video Link

Two words: Costs inflation. See, e.g., Clem Tillier and Alon Levy.

They're trying to get away with bloating the construction budget as much as possible, for several reasons: the two biggest seem to be (a) Parsons Brinkerhoff trying to maximize its revenue, and (b) the use of "concrete" to separate out agency fiefdoms rather than integrating operations and services thereby making this type of transit easier and more convenient to use.

EDIT: A mono-use mentality also seems to be in play here. Aerials along streets can have other land uses engrained under them, for example. This happens all the time in Europe--shops and light industry are placed under rail viaducts.

M II A II R II K Nov 11, 2011 10:55 PM

Judge: Bullet train must ax route through South Bay, Peninsula, for now


Read More: http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_19312258

Quote:

Once again, a judge on Thursday ordered the state to scrap its plans to zip high-speed trains from Gilroy to San Jose and up the Peninsula, saying officials failed to show how the massive route would harm local traffic and homes. Even so, the California High-Speed Rail Authority signaled it would reapprove the route along the Caltrain corridor after completing more studies to appease the judge. That could trigger yet another lawsuit, extending a three-year long legal battle against the polarizing $99 billion bullet train project.

The cities of Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton don't want the elevated tracks to divide their communities, create an eyesore and lower property values. So they sued in October 2010 to ax the Bay Area route for the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles line. They prefer a railroad that would run through the East Bay and across the Dumbarton Bridge to San Francisco. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny ruled that the rail authority must rescind the Peninsula route to study how the traffic in the far South Bay would suffer if the tracks force the elimination of lanes on Monterey Highway. He said it also needs to examine how Peninsula residents and roads would be handicapped by freight trains running closer to properties.

.....

fflint Nov 11, 2011 11:36 PM

CAHSR is just going to reapprove the route after they jump through the EIR hoops set up by the NIMBY obstructionist scum.

pesto Nov 12, 2011 5:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hammersklavier (Post 5476775)
Two words: Costs inflation. See, e.g., Clem Tillier and Alon Levy.

They're trying to get away with bloating the construction budget as much as possible, for several reasons: the two biggest seem to be (a) Parsons Brinkerhoff trying to maximize its revenue, and (b) the use of "concrete" to separate out agency fiefdoms rather than integrating operations and services thereby making this type of transit easier and more convenient to use.

EDIT: A mono-use mentality also seems to be in play here. Aerials along streets can have other land uses engrained under them, for example. This happens all the time in Europe--shops and light industry are placed under rail viaducts.

My guess is that the demand for elevated rail with or without retail under it is about zero in SJ.

M II A II R II K Nov 12, 2011 5:58 PM

Brown will ask legislators to OK billions for bullet train


Read More: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/...,3412601.story

Quote:

Gov. Jerry Brown said Thursday that he will formally request that the Legislature approve billions of dollars to start construction of the California bullet train next year and will work hard to persuade skeptical lawmakers that the project is critical to the state's future. In his first extended remarks on the $98.5-billion project since a controversial business plan was unveiled last week, Brown said that the state will have a broad need for the system in the long term and that it represents a significantly cheaper alternative to additional highway and commercial aviation investments.

- Rail officials hope the money can cover construction of a 140-mile Central Valley segment from Chowchilla to Bakersfield, though it would not pay for electrification, trains or other necessary parts of an operating system. To actually carry passengers will require more than $20 billion of additional investment in track and equipment, money that the state now does not have. Still, the start of construction with the money in hand represents "a prudent next step," and the state could find future sources of funding in new types of federal bonds, in state taxes or even by securing more federal funding, Brown said.

- "I want to see the first segment completed in short order," Brown said, noting that under the current plan the full scale-system would not be finished until he was 95 years old. "You can't build something like this in one jump. We have the first step paid down." State Controller John Chiang's office reported Thursday that tax receipts are about $1.5 billion lower than state budget architects anticipated through the first four months of the fiscal year. "I think we're in for a rough ride for the next couple of years in terms of the budget, but we are going to promote investments in the state, because I think they're crucial," Brown said. Even though the cost of the project has doubled, Brown said it is manageable over the 23-year construction period.

.....

dimondpark Nov 14, 2011 2:33 PM

I find it very amusing that the CAHSR authority can be so defiant on this issue?:shrug:
Quote:

Judge: Bullet train must ax route through South Bay, Peninsula, for now
By Mike Rosenberg

mrosenberg@mercurynews.com

Posted: 11/11/2011 07:25:20 AM PST
Updated: 11/11/2011 09:18:37 AM PST


Once again, a judge on Thursday ordered the state to scrap its plans to zip high-speed trains from Gilroy to San Jose and up the Peninsula, saying officials failed to show how the massive route would harm local traffic and homes.

Even so, the California High-Speed Rail Authority signaled it would reapprove the route along the Caltrain corridor after completing more studies to appease the judge. That could trigger yet another lawsuit, extending a three-year long legal battle against the polarizing $99 billion bullet train project.

The cities of Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton don't want the elevated tracks to divide their communities, create an eyesore and lower property values. So they sued in October 2010 to ax the Bay Area route for the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles line. They prefer a railroad that would run through the East Bay and across the Dumbarton Bridge to San Francisco.

http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_19312258

This pic is interesting:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Djn44SRfrB.../s400/map2.jpg
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Djn44SRfrB.../s400/map2.jpg

Well, the CAHSR balked at the above mentioned points and issued this response back in 2009:
Sure, a shift from the Pacheco to the Altamont alignment might serve more East Bay residents. But it would come at the expense of about the same number of people in Santa Clara County and the Monterey Bay Area. Given that San José is the state's third largest city and one of the state's key economic centers, you'd think that it would have a pretty strong argument for being included on the HSR line. But you won't hear that argument on the website.

Their reference to San Jose being a key employment center implies that people will be taking the CASHR to SJ for work? But how is that possible when hardly any commuters into the Bay Area from outside the region live along the Pacheco route??

On the other hand, we know that approximately 100,000 workers commute into the Bay Area from East and North.

For that matter, why would CAHSR brag about commuting? Do they plan to directly compete with CalTrain for riders?

And as far as future population growth, the corridor that includes contiguous areas of Alameda, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties is projected to add millions of people in the coming decades-growth along the Pacheco route is going to be slow or stagnant by comparison.

There is no real rhyme or reason for insisting on the Pacheco route vs the Altamont route.

Beta_Magellan Nov 14, 2011 4:48 PM

Supposedly, the real reason why Altamont was rejected was because Rod Diridon said that trains from San Jose couldn’t head north to get to Los Angeles, which was south. I’d love to have been his realtor—“only give me houses with driveways facing downtown!” :rolleyes:

More seriously (though I’ve heard the above story from more than one place, so I’m inclined to think it’s true) Pacheco was mainly selected because it offers faster service to San Jose (though slower to San Francisco—even though Pacheco is more “direct,” the Altamont alignment has a higher average speed to SF) and the fact that you have to pass through San Jose to get to San Francisco—they had a legitimate concern that cost overruns would could the San Jose branch to be cut, which is a pretty common anti-Altamont strawman.

The employment features are more for indicating the economic importance (ergo ridership potential) of a place than anything else—more business travelers will go to a big job center than otherwise. I get the impression that Caltrain was, at least in the early stages of the project, hoping CAHSR would amount to a giant ball of electrification-and-other-upgrade money, but that was scuttled by the two agencies’ inability to agree on anything—note that the “blended” San Jose alignment posted a couple of pages back was mostly based on keeping CAHSR as far away from Caltrain as possible.

The people pushing Altamont, TRANSDEF, are big fans of shared alignments, and see an Altamont alignment as having the potential to carry FRA-noncompliant EMUs as well as HSR—more bang for your buck. Unfortunately, that sort of smart planning seems to be the last thing on the minds of Bay Area planners.

fflint Nov 15, 2011 4:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beta_Magellan (Post 5479663)
The people pushing Altamont, TRANSDEF, are big fans of shared alignments, and see an Altamont alignment as having the potential to carry FRA-noncompliant EMUs as well as HSR—more bang for your buck. Unfortunately, that sort of smart planning seems to be the last thing on the minds of Bay Area planners.

Oh, it's on planners' minds. The planners aren't the problem: the Pacheco alignment is all about Silicon Valley politics.

M II A II R II K Nov 16, 2011 4:15 PM

Central Valley county sues to stop state from building bullet train there


Read More: http://www.mercurynews.com/californi...il/ci_19336343

Quote:

.....

Kings County says California can't legally spend $2.7 billion in voter-approved state bond funds to start building the bullet train line in their rural district, arguing it's not the same project voters approved in 2008. Since then, the cost has tripled and funding sources have dried to such an extent that the state can only afford to build an initial stretch of track so small that it won't support any service.

- The board of supervisors for the small county between Fresno and Bakersfield and two community activists hired a Peninsula attorney to file the suit in hopes of preventing California leaders from starting construction on the bullet train line next year. The 10-page suit filed in Sacramento is the latest legal challenge from angry communities, led by the Peninsula, that want to stop the project. The cities fear the elevated rail line will destroy properties along its path, lower home and business values, divide the community and create blight.

.....

pesto Nov 16, 2011 5:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 5482369)
Central Valley county sues to stop state from building bullet train there


Read More: http://www.mercurynews.com/californi...il/ci_19336343

This will be a great opportunity for the public to find out how HSR makes it decisions, the economic ties of its people and backers, etc. I am curious how much of the original proposals were known (or reasonably could be expected) to be wrong right from the start and how much real estate developers in SF and along the route were involved.

It's hard to imagine how one group could have enraged everyone from the upscale left on the Peninsula to the down and dirty right of Bako and King's County. Not exactly natural allies. But HSR managed to do it.

202_Cyclist Nov 16, 2011 8:37 PM

High-speed rail agency wants big firms to bid on first stretch (Fresno Bee)
 
High-speed rail agency wants big firms to bid on first stretch


By Lewis Griswold
The Fresno Bee
Nov. 15, 2011

"The California High Speed Rail Authority on Tuesday said it wanted large companies doing world-class projects to bid on the first $2 billion rail leg through Fresno.

Tens of thousands of jobs would be created on that leg, which, depending on the alignment, would run about 21 to 29 miles from Madera to just south of Fresno, the rail authority said.

The announcement signals that the $98.5 billion high-speed rail project, opposed in farm country and parts of the Bay Area, is marching forward despite a new lawsuit to stop it..."

http://www.fresnobee.com/2011/11/15/...wants-big.html


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