The California High Speed Rail Authority hopes to put the investment in a statewide high-speed rail network on the ballot this Fall. I learned of the train at the Ecocity World Summit from California Assemblywoman Fiona Ma. Ma is Majority Whip and has been working tirelessly for years to bring high-speed rail to the state. In her talk, she advocated the economic and environmental benefits, and stressed the global competition that means we can’t afford to wait.
I was delighted to see the Interactive Rail Map on the High Speed Rail Authority website. The tool includes an entire state view that let’s you gather trip statistics for specific segments along with a video visualization that shows the train running along the tracks in that specific geography. The combined view, along with the time and distance comparisons to other modes of transportation, really sells the concept well. There’s even a Google Maps mashup on the site that takes you along the corridor to show you details of the route with construction notes.
The Los Angeles Times ran a feature about the proposed $40 Billion project that’s projected to serve 68 million passengers by 2020. I hope the measure hits the ballot this fall, and that the people of California have the courage to let trains reconnect the state in an environmentally-friendly fashion. With the growing price of gas, now may finally be the time.