Political Support for HSR Remains Strong in Bay Area
At Tuesday night’s high speed rail hearing in Mountain View, a wide range of elected officials and organizational leaders came out to show their support for the project. Steven Maviglio collected many of the statements over at the California Majority Report. Some examples:
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed: “We appreciate efforts to continue studying alternatives that will allow early investment in projects in the Bay Area, such as electrification in the corridor. Improving the connections between our state’s economic and tourist centers will create jobs and benefit the entire high-speed rail system.”
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee: “To maintain our global economic competitiveness, we must re-commit our investment to infrastructure. California high-speed rail will cultivate greater traveland tourism in our State, cut greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, and reduce dramatically our dependence on oil. By reducing congestion on our freeways and highways, at our airports and on commuter transit, we will create jobs and grow a greener economy.”
John Martin, Airport Director, San Francisco International Airport: “San Francisco International Airport is a strong supporter of high speed rail in California. Passenger traffic at SFO is expected to grow to 50 million passengers by 2025. Currently, the Los Angeles Basin is the destination for 15% of the flights from SFO and 36% of flights from Oakland and San Jose. High speed rail will reduce the need for short-haul commuter flights and provide greater ability for SFO to accommodate international and long-haul domestic flights.”
Californians For High Speed Rail’s Daniel Krause also was in attendance on Tuesday night and had a great statement about risk:
Daniel Krause, co-founder and executive director, Californians for High Speed Rail: “The California High Speed Rail project is absolutely essential to California’s future, from providing desperately needed transportation capacity to clean our air, to reducing congestion and stimulating economic activity. While opponents have been running a relentless campaign of fear, doubt and uncertainty to give the impression the project is too risky, in fact, there is far more risk in not moving forward. It will cost much more to expand airports and freeways to create the same amount of transportation capacity. Additionally, borrowing costs will be offset by the requirement that any Prop 1A used must be matched by non-state source of funds, injecting billions of outside dollars into our state’s economy. It is time to set the record straight – high-speed rail is truly the low-risk alternative.”
Krause took that message to Bakersfield today where Kevin McCarthy, a far-right Republican Congressman, was holding a high speed rail town hall. Supporters have turned out for that hearing too, just as they did for the Mountain View hearing, showing that Californians do still want HSR and that critics and opponents aren’t going to be allowed to dominate these forums.