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Californians Pass High-Speed Train Measure

November 05, 2008 02:39 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
California voters have approved a $9.95 billion bond that will help finance the construction of a high-speed train.

High-Speed Train Approved

California voters came to the polls in support of Proposition 1A's $10 billion high-speed train system. Analysts believe the endeavor might end up costing $40 billion, however, according to Reuters.

The $10 billion will come in the form of bonds as a down payment for the train, which will stretch for 800-miles throughout the state. The electric trains would reach speeds of 220 mph, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. For example, a trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles would take approximately 2 1/2 hours, priced at about $55 one way. It would be "the largest public works project in California history."

Those who support the train claim it will "offer a fast, greener and less-costly way to travel up and down the state," according to the Chronicle. Opponents argue that the current economic climate does now allow for such a costly project.

“Given the way the markets have gone there’s no way in hell they’re going to get private sector investment in this,” Adrian Moore, a transportation economist with the Reason Foundation, told The Bakersfield Californian.
Also on Election Day, California passed a gay marriage ban proposition. Arizona and Florida also voted in favor of same sex marriage prohibitions.

Related Topic: The economy and voter decision making

Voters cited the nation’s economy as one of their primary concerns during this election, and some felt it could weigh heavily on the minds of people at the ballot box. 

Measures like the high-speed train and others “reflect assumptions that no longer apply after recent turmoil in the stock and credit markets,” according to Daniel Wagner of the Associated Press. “Some of these could be disastrous if they happen … It could throw government into a tizzy, because there’s not a plan for what to do next,” Donald Boyd, a senior fellow at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, explained.

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