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Is California Creating A 'High-speed Rail to Nowhere?'

If California doesn't start work on high speed rail by September, 2011, it will lose $3 billion in funding. If California does start work without securing future funding, it could end up with a $6 billion track to nowhere.
January 10, 2012, 9am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"LaHood and other boosters marvel at bullet trains in Europe and Japan, insisting simplistically that we need them, too. But the sprawling, decentralized cities of the United States do not make convenient destinations for train travelers. International experience shows that high-speed rail entails expensive debt service and large operating subsidies. This would likely be the case here as well, since, for better or worse, rail must compete with well-established air and car options. Business travel is one ostensible purpose of bullet trains in California, but increasingly people meet via video conference," writes editorial writer Charles Lane in The Washington Post.

Contract Charles Lane's column with Peter Calthorpe's impassioned argument for high speed rail in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Published on Monday, January 9, 2012 in The Washington Post
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