High-speed rail proposition worth support

As freeways continue to grind along at a snail’s pace, sending harmful auto emissions into our air and impatient commuters onto surface streets and coastal roads, the notion of clean and efficient public transportation has increasingly become part of our dialogue.
Voters now have a chance to answer at least some of those concerns with Proposition 1-A, the High-Speed Rail Bond initiative.

Proponents say high-speed trains use one-third the energy of air-travel and one-fifth the energy of auto travel while eliminating 12.7 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions (the equivalent of removing more than one million vehicles from our roads) and reducing dependence on foreign oil by up 12 million barrels per year. These are pretty heady numbers in these days of increasing energy concerns.

Voter reaction is bound to immediately center on the monetary aspect of the measure – an almost $10 billion dollar bond issue with principal and interest rates estimated to cost the state about $647 million a year. Concerning to say the least in these times, especially in California, but on further review of the measure, not disheartening.

This is a bond, not a tax, and interesting financial protections have been included as a matter of law. As part of a public/private partnership, Prop 1-A would allow the bond money to be used only after 75 percent of partnership dollars were secured for the project – no funds, no bonds.

The other side of California’s troubling balance sheet is its worrisome unemployment numbers. The economic stimulus aspect of this measure could be a boon to the California job market and a moribund construction industry. It is estimated the project could provide up to 200,000 temporary jobs and 500,000 permanent jobs.

There are several questions associated with the project including a provision that states all operating and maintenance costs will be covered by affordable ticket fares. The fares will undoubtedly be competitive in regard to airfares, but will they be competitive enough to attract Californians away from their precious automobiles?

There is also no guarantee federal and matching funds will be raised for the project, but the safeguards inherent in the measure should prevent the state from taking too large a hit.

Sometimes we need to look beyond the economic present with eyes squarely focused on the future and as a result, bring back a little shine to California’s tarnished forward-thinking and environmentally friendly reputation.

We recommend a yes vote on Proposition 1-A.

Related posts:

  1. State agency rallies support for high-speed train
  2. Yes on Proposition A
  3. Desalination plant gets Lands Commission OK
  4. A welcome compromise on water
  5. Fish population soars at wetlands lagoon

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=4187

Posted by on Oct 16, 2008. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • New Rancho Santa Fe Library Branch Manager welcomes community input
    Rancho Santa Fe Library’s new Branch Manager Haley Kwon has been charmed by the village’s “sweet, down-home” character, the simple pleasure of visiting the local library and people’s enjoyment of a slower speed of time. “It’s a small town and the library is a place for people to connect,” Kwon said. “People have a different sense of time here, they come in t […]
  • Robotics booming at Rancho Santa Fe School
    By Karen Billing At R. Roger Rowe School, 44 percent of first graders are participating in the robotics program this year. The school is fielding 44 robotics teams, including 31 percent of second grade, 23 percent of third grade, 35 percent of fourth grade and 39 percent of fifth grade. In the middle school, there are two FIRST LEGO League (FLL) teams and fi […]
  • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices honored with Stevie Gold Award
    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices was recently named Startup of the Year in the 2014 American Business Awards, earning the brokerage the Stevie Gold award. The award was presented at the Fairmont Millennium Park Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. “Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is among a select few organizations to be entrusted with the Berkshire Hathaway name,” co […]