High Speed Rail Is Not Primarily About Economics

Chikodi Chima responds to an article entitled "Economists Say High-Speed Rail Won't Make A Dime" with "California High Speed Rail Doesn’t Need to Make a Dime to Make a Difference" - both are about the recent Stanford study.
October 19, 2010, 9am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"There are a lot of good reasons to build California's high speed rail system. Few of them are economic."

With that opening, Chima takes a critical look at the October report,"The Financial Risks of California's Proposed High-Speed Rail", yet questions the premise upon which it is based, as well as its conclusions.

"California's embattled high speed rail plan can be seen as a metaphor for the struggle to properly fund our transportation systems across the board. We're faced with a choice as we look at 21st century unfolding before us. Do we fund our transportation infrastructure and ensure that future generations have the ability to move freely, or do when get gun shy when we look at the costs."

Chima concludes: "Once built, the high speed rail system, or simply efficient, clean public transit becomes part of the fabric of life. It's time for us to wake up, stop playing political football with our nation's transportation future and put real money behind it."

"The best thing we can do is send everybody to Europe to ride high speed trains," said Dominic Spaethling, California high speed rail project manager for the Bay Area. " But, unfortunately, we haven't seemed to organize that yet."

Thanks to Paolo (Paul) Pezzotta, AICP

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Published on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 in AltTransport
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