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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / Drumming up support for California high speed rail NEWSWIRE

Drumming up support for California high speed rail NEWSWIRE

By Dan Zukowski | February 28, 2019

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Next week will be critical for California high speed rail as the agency responsible for managing the project must reply to the U.S. Department of Transportation by March 5. DOT is looking to cancel a $929 million grant and recover $2.6 billion in funds already delivered.

The Rail Passengers Association is working to drum up support, says Vice President of Policy Sean Jeans-Gail. The organization submitted a letter to the FRA and is “working with the Authority to disseminate information in an effective fashion to our members and to the public at large.”

Key to gaining support on Capitol Hill is getting California’s Congressional delegation on board. Jeans-Gail tells Trains News Wire that the organization is looking to reach them both through the group’s members and directly through the D.C. office.

RPA noted in a press release that President Trump previously endorsed high speed rail during his campaign. “China and these other countries, they have super-speed trains. We have nothing. This country has nothing. We are like the third world,” they quote the President. “But we will get it going and we will do it properly and, as I say, make America great again.”

Jeans-Gail says the organization plans a summer of advocacy centering on the California project, but the immediate focus is on the threat to funding posed by the U.S. Department of Transportation. “We encourage the DOT to be open minded when it approaches California’s response,” he says.

5 thoughts on “Drumming up support for California high speed rail NEWSWIRE

  1. I’m a NARP/ RPA member for five decades. I don’t support this. Maybe it’s time for me to drop my membership. A year ago I e-mailed RPA in opposition to another boondoggle RPA supports in another part of the country. A long, detailed e-mail documenting my reasons to oppose. RPA never answered, not even a token courtesy reply.

  2. How can people opposed to high speed trains (eg. California) not understand the benefits. We are so outdated and far behind many other countries including China who is lacing the country with Bullet Trains, Japan and over many European Countries. Passenger business here is not so great simply because the trains overall are inefficient and slow. But don’t tell me a three hour trip or less between say LA and the Bay Area wonk’t drum up a lot of business not to mention the reduction of some traffic and pollution. I lived in Europe for many years and loved train travel which was comfortable, fast and enjoyable.

  3. Charles, unlike you, I have never been a member or supporter of NARP or whatever they call themselves these days. They always seemed to support the wrong thing like this boondoggle in California. I don’t need to send my money to that group. They should be supporting higher speed trains in urban corridors and drop their support for the long distance anachronisms that provide little if any value to a microscopic portion of the population. As much as I support Trump, I’ve always thought that his promise to start a high speed train service was wrong. Amtrak is doing quite well in the NEC with what are higher speed trains. By supporting California’s misguided attempts at high speed rail they are also supporting Governor Moonbeam’s criminal lies and distortion about the cost of the project and the criminal lies and distortions concerning the number of potential riders. Much more cost effective to buy a couple of jets for Southwest Airlines. Trying to drum up support for CHSRA rather than supporting a more cost effective option is certainly taking the low road.

  4. Crichton – HST need a much higher subsidy on a per passenger mile basis than other modes of transportation. This means the taxpayers have to make up the difference.

    Also, transportation “experts” who come up with costs and ridership projections seem to always get it wrong. These projects always cost way more than projected and seem to have fewer riders than was promised. Who believes them anymore.

  5. I find it odd that the best justification for Cali HSR is that “we are so behind”.

    A somewhat dubious project needs federal tax dollars to keep going or die.

    Politics require compromise. Large federal outlays require the same.

    If Cali is exceptionally serious about getting the federal dough, then they are going to have to change the milestones. To get those milestones approved, they are going to have to compromise on something.

    If they refuse to compromise, then they will have to do it themselves (and compromise something for themselves) or give something up on policy to get it.

    Guns or butter. Roads or bread. They will have to decide what matters to them the most. The policy or the dough.

    If I was a betting man, I would predict they will give up the dough, because the current congressional delegation is not very big on compromise, especially on policy.

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