(photo credit: California High Speed Rail Commission)

California has never shied away from boldly implementing public policies that transform the way its residents live their lives. Executing the first high-speed rail system in the country is no exception. It is a momentous project that is creating tens of thousands of jobs and will reduce traffic on highways and cut air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. According to the High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority), when completed, the system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds of over 200 miles per hour. The rail system will eventually serve the Sacramento and San Diego areas, with 24 stations throughout California.

ACEC California continues to strongly support the project, and its members will be instrumental in the continuing progress towards a full build-out. Californians will significantly benefit from this type of alternative transportation system because it will:

  • Provide long distance commuters with a safe, convenient, and affordable alternative to flying or driving.
  • Mitigate increases in air traffic and the need to expand capacity at the state’s airports.
  • Reduce California’s dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Enhance economic opportunities statewide through improved connectivity.
  • Create new commercial and industrial hubs along the rail alignment.

Finally, the high-speed rail system will also utilize alternative procurement methods such as Design-Build and Public-Private Partnerships, which will produce efficient and economical delivery of the project’s final completion.

 High Speed Rail System Progress

The Authority recently released its 2019 Project Update Report (PUR), laying out a tactical building block approach for successfully completing the state’s full San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim high-speed rail system.

Committed to an early service train line in the Central Valley as the best route upon which to build, the Authority’s PUR illustrates early success.

The PUR also indicates refined cost estimates, opportunities for cost savings and the assurance that this mega-infrastructure project will be completed by living within our means.