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Spring Break Trip Promotes California’s High-Speed Rail

by Kate Trainor on April 2, 2008

CalPIRG_Train Spring Break Trip Promotes Californias High-Speed Rail
Rather than partake in the typical booze-binging spring break run to Mexico, fifty college students from all over California converged in San Francisco to show their support for the proposed statewide high-speed rail system.

The students are members of CALPIRG, an environmental-advocacy organization that has set approval of the high-speed rail project as its top priority. They kicked off their tour in San Francisco on March 24th, and for the next four days continued along the proposed rail route to Sacramento, Stockton, Fresno, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The students met with mayors, state senators, and members of the press along the way as they worked to spread their message.

The group pedaled for much of their journey, outfitting their bikes frames with custom billboards proclaiming their support for the state’s high speed rail project.

Check out the video of their state tour, after the jump.


From CALPIRG:

A better solution is on the table. High speed rail will allow Californians to travel from the Bay Area to Los Angeles in two and a half hours, without the hassle of the airport. High speed rail is predicted to take up to 92 million drivers off the road annually and attract 18 million travelers who would otherwise fly. In doing so, high speed rail would eliminate the need for construction of 2,970 additional highway miles and 91 airport gates.

In fact, although the price tag of $40 billion to build the entire route may seem daunting, developing high speed rail will be less than half the cost of the road and airport expansions we’ll need without it. For example, just meeting interstate requirements for Highway 99 in the Central Valley and widening it to eight lanes would cost between $20 billion and $25 billion.

The California High Speed Rail Authority nailed down the final route for the line this past December. Trains are slated to run from San Francisco to Los Angeles, with branches connecting the Central Valley and San Jose. The missing piece is the funding; Californians will decide whether the project gets the go-ahead this November when they vote on a $10 billion bond measure.

The travel time between LA and SF would be about 2 ½ hours, compared to over 6 hours by car. The price tag of $55 is cheaper than flying. When you factor in check-in, security, and the necessity of arriving early for flights, the rail option beats the pants off of airline service. Rail stations will be in city centers as opposed to out-of-the-way airports, adding to the convenience.

Train travel also comes out way ahead in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and minimizing damage to the environment when compared to car or air travel.

Via NBC news.

 

Related posts:

  1. California Trains to Go High-Speed?
  2. High Speed Rail Connects Barcelona and Madrid
  3. High-Speed Rail Coming to America
  4. North Carolina All Aboard Rail System
  5. House to Vote on Intercity Rail Funding
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mark R. February 20, 2008 at 1:57 pm

While I agree that people don’t exercise enough and are to fat, to blame it on urban sprawl is ridiculous. Blame it on the fear of of abduction, molestation or other social ills, video games, grandparents spoiling kids etc before urban sprawl. I grew up in a small town in the country, walked or rode my bike every where. Parents don’t let there kids do that today not because they don’t want to but because they fear what might happen. And to say that bring everything closer in a downtown city environment will solve the problem is just foolish.

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2 Daniel February 20, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Mark, no offense, but I have to call “BS” on that statement. People don’t walk/bike because they are lazy. To say that you aren’t going to walk 1/4 mile to the store because you don’t want to be raped is just an excuse to drive. It is very rare that people are in such an isolated place that this is even a threat, and I don’t believe most kids live their lives in fear like adults do. I think the author is correct in stating that if you had an “interesting, pedestrian-friendly center with places a child could walk to and explore”, they WOULD. Unfortunately you don’t have that. Around where I live I see kids walking by at all hours of the day. The only problem is they’re all walking to 7-11 for sodas and ice cream. They certainly aren’t scared of being molested (they get that at home).

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3 Mark R. February 20, 2008 at 9:53 pm

Daniel,

Re Read the article I’m not talking about me or you I’m talking about CHILDREN! I know way to many moms that won’t hardly let their kids out of their sight because of this fear of their child being abducted on their watch. You don’t know squat about where I live, I do live in a pedestrian friendly town its 40k pop. with over 25 miles of hike and bike trails and Thousands of acres of parks on top of the regular sidewalks and bike lanes. Which is great for such a small town/suburb. Sure the kids love to explore the trails and parks, when their parents let them.

Let me give you a for instance, We had to stop letting our kids go with out an adult to the park 3 blocks from our house for several months because there were several spotting of a convicted child abuser hanging around the park. When you have cops come to your door and show a picture of a convicted child abuser and asking if you’ve seen him in at your park you pay attention. I’m just giving my opinion on why a lot of kids are FAT. and its not because of urban sprawl, thats a HUGE COPOUT! its because of fast food, video games, and protective parents.

Reply

4 Susie H February 24, 2008 at 3:05 pm

I think part of the problem started with Physical
Education no longer being “taught” in schools. Kids
get used to inactivity with video games, parents
driving them to and from school, no chores around
the house, cheap fast food. Nothing is expected of
kids anymore and that’s what we’re getting-nothing
in return except more fat kids.

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