Most say it’s time to pull the plug on high-speed rail

By the Daily Post staff

A new Los Angeles Times poll finds that only 31% of California voters want to continue building the high-speed rail project.

The poll, which was also sponsored by USC, said that 49% of voters support the concept of a high-speed rail system, while 43% oppose and 9% haven’t heard about it.

But when asked in a second question whether they would stop the project, given that the cost has doubled to $77 billion and the schedule has stretched to 2033, just 31% said they would keep going and 49% said they would halt construction. A sizable 19% did not know what to do about the problems.

A 2012 poll by the Times and USC just before a key vote in the Legislature to start the project rolling showed that 59% of voters opposed the bond issue that was passed in 2008 to fund the project if it were put back on the ballot. Shortly after, the Legislature passed and Gov. Jerry Brown signed a multibillion-dollar appropriation out of the bond measure to start construction.

In that July 6, 2012, vote, then-state Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, opposed the bill while the area’s assemblymen at the time, Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, supported the project that was being heavily pushed by organized labor. Simitian was later termed out of the Legislature and is now a Santa Clara County Supervisor while Hill is now the state senator representing the mid-Peninsula. Gordon retired from the Legislature.

The new poll shows Bay Area voters are the train’s strongest supporters. Just 27% of poll respondents in the Bay Area said they would stop the project, compared with 41% in Los Angeles, 56% in San Diego and Orange counties and 64% in the Central Valley.

Under the California High-Speed Rail’s 2018 draft business plan, the first partial operating segment of the system would start in the Bay Area and run to the Central Valley.

2 Comments

  1. If you want to cut a substantial amount of funding for high-speed rail, vote YES on Prop 70. They take our gas taxes and give it to this railroad project. A yes vote means such diversions will be subject to 2/3rds votes, which means no more money for high-speed rail.

  2. Vote NO on 70. Do NOT give Republicans power to derail High Speed Rail which is the largest construction project in California history! The Republicans want to ruin California’s economic future as well as the nations with backward policies like:

    -Blocking the nations transportation bill for over 15 years…
    That’s 15 plans the taxpayer never saw $$$ and 15 years without a national transportation plan at ALL!

    -Money is ‘earmarked’ each year to mostly Republican pet projects like toll lanes and endless freeway sprawl developments. All funding for subway and commuter rail mass transit, high speed rail and amtrak:( is always blocked. This is why we are dangerously close to falling behind the rest of the developed world…and the Democrats are the only one’s who seem to care.

    -Severely treasonous Republican Obstructionism using the people’s Congress to block any and all good economic policies and good government that can help take us into the future where the rest of the redeveloped world already is. China is gonna eat our lunch.

    Fact: High Speed Rail is a proven success in every nation it has been built where their national hogh speed rail systems (which are built in under 10 years) are improving air quality, travel times, quality of life, significantly raising land values, expanding both local and regional economies. For Calofornia, the bullet train is essential to the growth of the economy and can also help solve one of the state’s biggest problems…the housing crisis. By opening up new areas for responsible development for tens of thousands of future citizenry to live, this new modern transportation asset will create flourishing communities who have been saved from being relics…mimicking the stagnant economies of the past.

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