High-Speed Rail Cost Weighs On Californians

Back in 2008, California voters approved a $10 billion bond to plan and build a high-speed rail system across the state. Four years later, support for the high-speed rail has waned. Now that the estimated cost is $68 billion, a recent survey by the Public Policy Institute of California shows that only 43 percent of likely voters support the project.

That number hasn’t changed since the last time the survey was conducted, about a year ago. When asked if they would support a high-speed rail if the cost was lower, support jumps to 55 percent. But the cost has gone down since the last survey, from $100 billion to $68 billion. It’s unclear what number would tip the public back in favor of the system, but they haven’t reached it yet.

image via California High Speed Rail Authority

image via California High Speed Rail Authority

At the same time, a majority of Californians (59 percent) think a high-speed rail system is important to the state “quality of life and economic vitality.”

Related article: Florida’s Flirtation With High-Speed Rail Recounted In New Book

Meanwhile, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has continued to win or settle its legal battles with cities across California. The Authority plans to move forward with construction this summer. The state must spend its $2.35 billion of federal funding on the project before 2017.

transportation-nationEditor’s Note: EarthTechling is proud to repost this article courtesy of Transportation Nation. Author credit goes to Isabel Angell

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