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It's Not Just Los Angeles to San Francisco for High Speed Rail...

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"I think President Obama would like to be known as the high-speed rail president, and I think he can be," said Department of Transportation head, Ray LaHood this morning to National Public Radio in a report about stimulus funding and high speed rail. $8 billion is dedicated to the HSR vision and the radio program took note of California:

The state that may be furthest along in planning is California, where voters approved a $9 billion bond issue last fall for high speed trains. Quentin Kopp, a former judge who is chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, expects a lot of the federal money to wind up in the California system, which would link the state's largest cities. "A trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, which is about 410, 420 miles, will take two hours and 38 minutes with a one-way fare of $55," Kopp says. That's about half to one-third the cost of a plane ticket for a comparable trip.

But the $8 billion from the stimulus bill--and an expected extra billion in the 2010 budget--is likely to be divided across the country, meaning less impact. However, we're ahead statewide: Californians voted in favor of Proposition 1a last November--it authorized a $9 billion bond for the railway.