Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

Low Speed Hearing for High Speed Rail

After work I took CalTrain to Mountain View, and walked about a mile from the station to get to the Performing Arts Center where State Senator Simitian, eventually joined by three more, held a public hearing on High Speed Rail. For two hours we heard from the High-speed Rail Authority,  the HSR Peer Review Group and two reps from the Legislative Analyst's Office, the latter two seemed to have no idea what was going on.

The HSRA has dropped the idea of a true HSR project, and is planning a hybrid of low-speed rail on existing rights of way and a possible high speed stretch in the Central Valley where there would be no one to ride it. Plan A needs $80 billion. The HSRA has only managed to identify 1/10 of that. It is clear that this group cannot build anything resembling HSR in my lifetime, and the hearing turned me from a gung-ho supporter to a solid "no" vote. I think it may have been one of the clueless analysts who suggested CalTrans might be a better organization to mount this project, and I think they may be right.

I bailed at 9 pm, to give me plenty of time to walk to CalTrain and catch the 9:38. Which apparently is now the 9:48. So I didn't get to hear any of the public's comments.

I'm listening to it online now, 11:15. The Senator will be getting a letter from me thanking him for keeping the meeting civil, and staying until everyone who wanted to talk had a chance to do so.

I wonder what it would cost to come up with an electrified interstate standard, and build cards which can ride on them.

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