Dispel the myths about high-speed rail in California.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is responsible for planning, designing, building and operating the first high-speed rail system in the nation. California high-speed rail will connect the mega-regions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs and preserve agricultural and protected lands. This high-profile project has garnered a lot of publicity, which in turn has led to speculation and rumor. When considering the impact high-speed rail has on California, it is important to separate fact from fiction. Download fact sheet.
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Providing the same people-carrying capacity as high-speed rail from San Francisco to Los Angeles would require 4,200 new highway lane miles, 91 additional airport gates and two new airport runways costing between $122B to $199B, not including operations and maintenance costs; more expensive than the $63B to $98B for HSR.
High-speed rail is a waste of money. We can expand our roads and airports.
California's population is projected to grow to more than 45M by 2050. Transportation is a key contributor to emissions, and Los Angeles and San Francisco rank among the top ten most gridlocked U.S. cities. The high-speed rail system is a key component of achieving net-zero emissions by transforming and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, helping California achieve climate goals.
High-speed rail is a solution in search of a problem.
Contract requirements dictate our construction sites have significantly better air quality than the California average. Our contractors use Tier 4 on- and off-road vehicles and technology to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions. Site emissions are 60 percent lower than the state average.
Building high-speed rail causes more pollution than it will save.
Cap-and-Trade funding has helped spur nearly $4 B of economic activity in disadvantaged communities and dispatched 400+ disadvantaged workers to construction projects. Of the 600+ small businesses participating in the high-speed rail program, 192 are Disadvantaged Business Enterprises. Already, 5,500+ workers are on site building high-speed rail.
Investing Cap-and-Trade proceeds in high-speed rail has produced no results.
At this very moment, rail crossings throughout northern and southern California are being upgraded or eliminated. This reduces traffic congestion, improves safety and cuts GHG emissions from idling vehicles. A single rail crossing can cause up to 45 days of stopped traffic per year, which results in about 1,800 tons of GHG emissions annually.
High-speed rail does nothing to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions now.
High-speed rail will help achieve California's climate goals by reducing transportation emissions and being part of a sustainable transportation network. Goals include reducing congestion and pollution, while improving mobility and access to jobs and affordable housing. With a growing population and economy, high-speed rail is the only transportation mode meeting these goals.
California could make better transportation investments.