Good news this week – high speed rail is coming to the Valley. Well, the central valley anyway.
As the CEO of the Silicon Valley – not central valley – leadership group, my reaction – to the surprise of some – is positive. In fact, the central valley alignment is the right choice.
Why? High-speed rail is for California’s future, and a purely parochial view is the wrong way to build momentum for a system that someday should run 700 miles from Los Angeles to Silicon Valley to San Francisco.
Before it can run 700 miles, however, it needs to run somewhere. Let’s do the math. We have $12 billion for a project with a price tag of $45 billion. The central valley extension – from Fresno to Merced (my preference) or Fresno to Bakersfield – would cover nearly 100 miles at a cost of less than $10 billion. The central valley is the fastest growing region of California, and also has devastating rates of unemployment.
And perhaps – just perhaps – this might motivate folks along the peninsula to realize what we are missing, and come together with an affordable, appropriate alignment that meets the needs of our valley – the Silicon Valley.
High speed rail is on-track.