High Speed Rail Passes
Proposition 1A, the $10 billion statewide high speed rail was approved by a 52-48 margin. The race was really close. As our state is in a real dire fiscal situation, my assumption is that voters balked at supporting more debt for our "gold plated" state.
The High Speed Rail's Business Plan predicts that the service will have an operating surplus of $1 billion, will grow jobs and be good for the environment.
I am wary of overly optimistic financial modeling, but the price looks right.
The Business Plan calculates that passenger revenues for the backbone link between Los Angeles/Anaheim and San Francisco will exceed operating and maintenance costs. With train fares set at 50 percent of airfares, high-speed trains will carry 55 million traveler trips in 2030 and generate $2.4 billion in revenues for this portion of the high-speed train system. Annual operation and maintenance costs for this link have been estimated at approximately $1.3 billion.According to the High Speed Rail Authority, In addition to 160,000 construction jobs over the next two decades, high-speed trains will generate 320,000 permanent jobs by 2030, growing to 450,000 jobs in 2035, according to the Business Plan. The business plan also sees the project helping the environment by saving 12.7 million barrels of oil per year and eliminating 12 billion pounds of CO2 emissions a year.
With construction potentially slated to start in 2010 jobs and passengers can be moving sooner rather than later.
Here is a copy of the business plan.