The Transport Politic blog reports today that California’s High Speed Rail project will get a huge boost from the federal stimulus bill. According to the story, HSR is in line to receive $8 billion, “the largest single expenditure on rail in United States history.”
Phase 1 projects include a line from Los Angeles to San Jose, and then to San Francisco. California voters gave the project a thumbs-up in November when they approved a $9.5 billion bond. The plan requires the kind of significant federal investment promised in today’s news.
Pres. Obama himself made a pitch for HSR projects on Wednesday: “It’s imagining new transportation systems. I’d like to see high speed rail where it can be constructed. I would like for us to invest in mass transit because potentially that’s energy efficient. And I think people are a lot more open now to thinking regionally…
“The days where we’re just building sprawl forever, those days are over. I think that Republicans, Democrats, everybody… recognizes that’s not a smart way to design communities. So we should be using this money to help spur this sort of innovative thinking when it comes to transportation.”
If and when the HSR corridor is completed, trains travelling at speeds up to 220 miles per hour would make the trip from San Jose to LA in under two-and-a-half hours.