Assembly to Consider Bill to Fund Caltrain Electrification

Jun 22nd, 2016 | Posted by

A Peninsula Assemblymember has introduced new legislation (technically, it’s a rewrite of another bill) that would make it clear the Prop 1A bonds can be sold now in order to help fund Caltrain electrification:

AB1889 by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, would change the wording of previous legislation to approve selling the bonds to pay for upgrades to the Caltrain commuter line, which for years has been included as part of the plan to build a California high-speed rail system, currently pegged at $64 billion….

Mullin’s legislative director, Andrew Zingale, said the bill is meant to clarify a portion of prior legislation that authorized $1.1 billion for transit improvements at both ends of the high-speed rail project.

Zingale said there was a concern that the wording of existing law could mean high-speed rail would have to be up and running to fund an electrification project, which was not what lawmakers intended.

“What we’re trying to clarify is that this does serve the purpose of that but we don’t have to wait for the entire corridor of high-speed rail track to be built for the money to be ready to be spent,” he said.

This seems totally reasonable, though I’m sure HSR opponents will whine that the Assembly used the “gut and amend” process to get this bill through, but whatever, they’d oppose this regardless of the method used.

The bill would still have to be approved by the whole Assembly, the Senate, and then be signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

  1. Jerry
    Jun 22nd, 2016 at 22:55
    #1

    Those who oppose this will argue endlessly that it is wrong.
    But then please identify your recommendation as to how CalTrain electrification should be paid for.

    J. Wong Reply:

    They don’t want Caltrain electrification so they don’t want any means to pay for it.

  2. morris brown
    Jun 22nd, 2016 at 22:56
    #2

    Mullin’s bill is attempting to modify the terms that exist in Prop 1A. Prop 1A was a voter approved initiative, and as such the terms can only be modified by a vote of the people — that is a re-vote.

    As far as passage of this bill goes, it is certainly on its way to the Governor, at race car speed.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Nope. The bill modifies the certification that the Legislature was required to make to release the bonds for sale. Nothing more.

    Jerry Reply:

    What are those terms of the Prop that the bill is attempting to mosify????

    Jerry Reply:

    modify???????

    StevieB Reply:

    It is a very short bill.

    SECTION 1. Section 2704.78 is added to the Streets and Highways Code, to read:

    2704.78. (a) For the purposes of expenditure or liquidation of the appropriation made by Item 2665-104-6043 of Section 2.00 of the Budget Act of 2012, as added by Section 3 of Chapter 152 of the Statutes of 2012, the approval made by the High-Speed Rail Authority pursuant to Section 2704.08 that a corridor or usable segment thereof would be suitable and ready for high-speed train operation, within the meaning Section 2704.08, shall be conclusive.

    (b) This section does not relieve the High-Speed Rail Authority of its duties under Section 2704.08, including the report required by subdivision (d) of that section.

    Roland Reply:

    So, if I understand this correctly, as long as the CRRA declares that they can get to 4th & King in 30 minutes @ 79 MPH we can forget all about the Judge Kenny ruling?

    agb5 Reply:

    The electrical system would be “suitable and ready for high speed train operation”.
    The electrical system would not have to be demolished and rebuilt to support 120mph speeds, which is the raison d’être of the “suitable and ready” language.

    A usable segment is “bits” of a high speed rail system with independent utility, so the peninsula electrical system alone could be such a bit.

    Roland Reply:

    “The electrical system would not have to be demolished and rebuilt to support 120mph speeds”, so the intent of the legislation is to put Caltrain “electrication” on hold until the Peninsula alignment complies with the Bond Act?

    Joe Reply:

    What’s CRRA?

    Edward Reply:

    The California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA, founded 1974) is California’s statewide recycling association. It is the oldest and one of the largest non-profit recycling organizations in the United States. A 501(C)3 organization, CRRA is dedicated to achieving environmental sustainability in and beyond California through Zero Waste strategies including product stewardship, waste prevention, reuse, recycling and composting. CRRA provides its members with resources to advance local, regional and state wide waste reduction efforts which result in critical environmental and climate protection outcomes. CRRA’s members represent all aspects of California’s reduce-reuse-recycle-compost economy. Our members work for cities, counties, municipal districts, and businesses as well as hauling companies, material processors, non-profit organizations, state agencies, and allied professionals.

    Joe Reply:

    Does that make any sense in the context above ?

    I think CRRA refers to http://www.catholicresearch.net

    Roland Reply:

    CRRA is the California Rapid Rail Authority formerly known as the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA).

    Joe Reply:

    Can we change the “Bay” To “Fast” and call it FART?

    Not sure what you want to achieve here but add some confusion. What’s the purpose ?

    Roland Reply:

    Fast BART is an oxymoron.

    Alan Reply:

    Please cite the act of the Legislature which made that change. Otherwise, quit whining and grow up a bit.

    Alan Reply:

    @Joe … Many years ago, (30+ years ago) I recall seeing some old ex-SamTrans GMC buses on the ramp at Transbay, with “FART” on the side. Turned out to be “Fairfield Area Rapid Transit”…

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Unfortunate acronym is unfortunate…

    EJ Reply:

    You mean like Ferrovie Autolinee Regionali Ticinesi?

    http://www.centovalli.ch/?lang=EN

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Well they’re operating in Ticino… When do foreign tourists ever visit that area?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @Joe
    Fairfield’s local bus system used to be called Fairfield Area Rapid Transit, and they used to advertise saving gas by farting around, and things like that.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But why?

    Ted K. Reply:

    In the context of this blog it’s simply (a) a word game and (b) a mistake. A while back a commenter on this blog proposed renaming the CHSRA to CRRA as a way to get around some legal barriers. The problem is that it’s not official and it treads on the toes of SCRRA aka Metrolink.

    Google search string : “california rapid rail authority” (phrase search – quotes required)

    SCRRA – http://www.metrolinktrains.com/agency/page/title/about

    History

    Metrolink is governed by the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA), a joint powers authority that was formed in 1991 and comprises five county agencies that were tasked with reducing highway congestion and improving mobility throughout Southern California:…

    James Fujita Reply:

    I’m not sure it is a mistake. Clearly, this board is host to a number of Sliders from alternate dimensions where the CRRA exists (not including the Catholic and resource recovery versions, of course) and BART is part of a giant statewide conspiracy.

    Quick test: 1) The President of the United States is Mitt Romney T/ F. 2) the Confederate States of America exists T/F 3) Cal HSR changed its name to CRRA T/F

    If you answered True or one or more of these, you may be one of them.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What about the result of the Mexican American war, though?

    agb5 Reply:

    Think of it as the inverse of the other scenario where new high speed rails are laid down, but before the electrical system is installed, a temporary diesel train service runs on them to give them independent utility.
    On the peninsula, the electrical system will be the first high speed rail component to be laid down, low speed electric trains will give it independent utility, then the rail bed will be upgraded to “suitable and ready for high speed” later.
    The language of Prop1a supports both scenarios.

    Roland Reply:

    So, first we electrify the mess created by the SamTrans consultants over the last 15 years and then we rip it all up and return all the tracks back to where they were supposed to be in the first place(?)
    Does that mean that the EMUS will have to lug F40 backups to go through construction zones or are we just going back to bus bridges?

    Joe Reply:

    You use “SamTrans consultants” to describe Caltrain employees?

    Ted K. Reply:

    [OT] While trying to find a power van to supply current to the EMU’s I found the following :

    https://www.gwrr.com/about_us/community_and_environment/gwi_green/motherslug_locomotives

    In a Mother-Slug set, the Mother is a conventional diesel locomotive that sends its excess electrical power via large cables back to the Slug, which is similar in general appearance to a normal locomotive except that it has only traction motors.

    Coupling a Slug to the Mother allows the Mother locomotive’s excess electrical power to drive the Slug’s traction motors essentially for free, using only the power from the Mother. This provides significant fuel savings compared to using two diesel locomotives, as well as producing less exhaust emissions.

    Roland Reply:

    “Caltrain” does not have ANY employees, only TASI employees without which “Caltrain” would cease to exist and a bunch of rent seekers who are either on the SamTrans payroll or on permanent “Consultant” assignment to SamTrans.

    Joe Reply:

    I guess being less specific about Caltrain vs San Mateo transit makes you serious. Like using CRR… Whatever.

    So let’s look at Caltrain… Hmmm
    Joint powers board is responsible for the Caktrain ROW. Not San Mateo employees or consultants.
    http://www.caltrain.com/Assets/Public/JPA_Agreement_and_Amendment_10-03-1996.pdf

    The contracting mechanisms to hire vs the authority to execute the project goals.

    And rent seeking – you use the term but don’t seem to know. Rent for what? Did they privatize Caltrain?

    Maybe we call them county employees and thier contractors and consultants. Or maybe refer to San Mateo county as a contractor for Santa Clara VTA.

    rent seeker means. Rent for ….. What ?

    Roland Reply:

    “In economics and in public-choice theory, rent-seeking involves seeking to increase one’s share of existing wealth without creating new wealth. Rent-seeking results in reduced economic efficiency through poor allocation of resources, reduced actual wealth creation, lost government revenue, increased income inequality,[1] and (potentially) national decline.

    Attempts at capture of regulatory agencies to gain a coercive monopoly can result in advantages for the rent seeker in the market while imposing disadvantages on (incorrupt) competitors. The idea was originated by Gordon Tullock and the term was coined by Anne Krueger.[2]”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rent-seeking
    http://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/rentseeking.asp

    Peter Reply:

    Still unsure how Samtrans employees or consultants count as “rent seekers” even under the above definition. Who else is going to do the work? People who don’t work for Samtrans or their consultants? How would that be any different? Who do you expect to work for a public agency?

    People in government need to get paid the same as everyone else. They just get paid less. Consultants also need to get paid, maybe somewhat more. The option is either to hire full-time employees for the agency with particular expertise (more expensive over the long term) or hire a consultant to do the work at a slightly higher rate (with the advantage of their contract being limited).

    Which would you prefer?

    Joe Reply:

    Caltrain is not a regulatory agency. It’s chartered to execute and implement commuter rail service.
    There has been turnover in the contract supplying conductors. How does that turnover show Caltrain capture by a monopoly? How is a government operating with subsidy a rent seeker?

    Rent seeking requires something to rent. Some company buys the row or owns track and charges a use fee. That’s not happening.

    Nathanael Reply:

    “In economics and in public-choice theory, rent-seeking involves seeking to increase one’s share of existing wealth without creating new wealth.”

    This describes the entire CEO class of the US, as well as all the oil and gas companies, and the coal companies, and nearly all of the banks, and… yeah, well, you get the picture.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    JudgeKenny specifically said in his ruling that Transbay is the start of the SF to SJ time. It was a specific part of the ruling.

    Roland Reply:

    That was based on legislation that was in effect at the time of the ruling.
    The legislation currently on the Governor’s desk should take care of this minor detail(?)

    morris brown Reply:

    @ Roland

    who wrote:

    That was based on legislation that was in effect at the time of the ruling.
    The legislation currently on the Governor’s desk should take care of this minor detail(?)

    Roland: Please us just what legislation are you talking about?

    Roland Reply:

    Morris, that was pure speculation on my part, hence the (?) suffix. I am assuming that they have figured out a way to tweak the Bond Act to enable the sale of Bonds for a non-compliant project.
    BTW, I am at the LPMG meeting and Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton are notably absent(?)

    agb5 Reply:

    Bond funds could pay for the electrification component from San Jose to Millbrae. That would satisfy the “two station” language of a “usable segment”. There is no statutory travel time between these stations. Other money can be used to complete the electrification to Transbay.

    Roland Reply:

    Interesting concept. Would anyone care to provide legal analysis?

    Jerry Reply:

    StevieB
    So does that mean that Morris is wrong?
    And that Mullin’s bill is NOT attempting to modify the terms that exist in Prop 1A???
    So far, Morris has not identified just what the terms are in Prop 1A that he feels are being modified.

  3. synonymouse
    Jun 22nd, 2016 at 23:05
    #3

    But then cannot Anaheim ask for equal treatment, i.e., money up front.

    J. Wong Reply:

    Money up front for what? They can’t just ask for money, but must have a plan. No plan, no money.

    Roland Reply:

    Samtrans’ plan is to ask for more money.

  4. Roland
    Jun 23rd, 2016 at 01:18
    #4

    OT: Paging Max re: “Reasonable comparisons would be passenger capacity, or price per seat (but even that is not conclusive, because the number of seats depend on what the customer orders).”

    Q: What is the maximum number of seats a 200-meter long KISS trainset can accommodate?

    Eric Reply:

    http://www.trainweb.org/tgvpages/formations.html

    Max Wyss Reply:

    You might do what I’d have to do too… have a look at the Stadler Rail website; essentially every major order comes with a data sheet.

    Roland Reply:

    I did (two years ago) and ended up with 600 seats. Am I missing something?

    Peter Reply:

    I get 856 seats (twice the 4-car seating) from the BeNEX order.

    Roland Reply:

    Thank you, this is helpful but you are assuming 2×4 car EMUs with a total length of 210.440M (690.5 feet) which is a bit tight for a 700-foot platform. Caltrain is ordering 6-car EMUs (that’s where I got the 600 seats from). Have you seen any recent orders for 6-car EMUs from Stadler?

    On a related note, I notice that they have 3 toilets for 428 seats which is about right (1 toilet for every 150 passengers). Any idea why LTK are trying to trash all the toilets (for their stupid second set of doors or ???)

    Peter Reply:

    If it’s a single 8-car trainset (versus two 4-car trainsets coupled together), that would shorten it down somewhat (two cab cars are replaced with middle cars).

    The bathroom issue is simply to maximize the amount of available seating. I’m pretty sure they would be recommending less toilets than are currently on the Bombardier trains even if they weren’t adding additional doors.

    Clem Reply:

    Aeroexpress KISS, 6 cars, 700 seats in two classes.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    And if “cars” 2 and 5 were full length, it would have a few more seats.

    EJ Reply:

    Those aren’t standard gauge though, so that means they cost $8 billion apiece…

    Max Wyss Reply:

    According to Wikipedia, the Aeroexpress contract was over EUR 350M, consisting of 16 4-car units and 9 6-car units. Now, do your math…

    Clem Reply:

    I’m fairly sure EJ was making a tongue in cheek reference to the alleged high cost of BART, supposedly due to its Indian Broad Gauge

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Possibly… got lost in translation…

    But then, BART didn’t order from Stadler…

    Joey Reply:

    Why are 700′ platforms relevant to anyone but BART?

  5. Reality Check
    Jun 23rd, 2016 at 01:46
    #5

    Quiet zone: Atherton, Caltrain squabble over train horns

    […]

    Caltrain spokeswoman Tasha Bartholomew said on June 17 that despite the quiet zone, “Caltrain engineers can still sound the horn through the Atherton station.” The station is next to the crossing inside the quiet zone.

    The reason, Ms. Bartholomew said, is that “the Atherton train station includes five pedestrian crossings that require all Caltrain trains to sound horns as they transition the station.”

    Caltrain also has an “operating rule” that requires train horns to sound while passing through train stations, she said.

    The town begs to differ.

    While Federal Railroad Administration regulations do say that if state laws require a train horn to sound at pedestrian crossings, then they may do so even in a quiet zone, the town says it doesn’t actually have any pedestrian crossings.

    […]

    The boarding platform is “not an independent pedestrian crossing of the tracks,” Ms. Dexter said.

    “Until we are shown, in writing how Caltrain policy … contradicts and overrides our understanding of the applicable FRA (Federal Railroad Administration) regulations we stand by our assessment that they may use locomotive bells within the station but not sound the horn” unless there is an emergency, City Manager George Rodericks said on June 17.

    […]

    […] quiet zone regulations are meant to make rail crossings safer. “Train horns are not meant to be a gold standard of safety,” she said. Train horns can warn people and vehicles that a train is coming, but they do not keep them off the tracks, she said.

    Certain safety measures, including what are called “quad gates,” which lower four arms at a crossing so even the most determined driver can not get around them, provide more safety than train horns, Ms. Dexter said.

    […]

    Atherton’s second crossing, at Watkins Avenue, needs further safety measures before it qualifies, and the town is currently studying installing those measures.

    While the town and Caltrain squabble over just how quiet the quiet zone must be, local residents say they have already noticed a huge difference.

    […]

    See also: http://www.cahsrblog.com/2016/06/california-is-already-building-hsr-trains/#comment-283472

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Eliminate the station

    Aarond Reply:

    Requires money, a thing Atherton will not part with. This entire problem could be solved if they approved of grade-separation and built an elevated island platform station like both Belmont and San Carlos did.

    With Caltrain modernization getting the fast track from the state, perhaps they could be pressured into it. This could also be a backdoor way of 4-tracking the corridor.

    Joe Reply:

    It’s going to take more money to Transition Atherton to HSR compatible platforms and operating speeds.

    That transition is going to be another fight, old rich people live to fight over lawns and noise, and Atherton will either modernize or lose their station.

    Meanwhile Caltrain should continue to operate with all precautions at this station.

    EJ Reply:

    Meanwhile Caltrain should continue to operate with all precautions at this station.

    I get that Atherton is an Enemy, and should be Punished, but they did jump through all the legal hoops to get a quiet zone put in.

    Joe Reply:

    I think they got exactly what they asked for.

    The article says Caltrain is honoring the quite zone at the upgraded crossing. The article says residents notice less noise. Dexter isn’t happy.

    The horns sound for the station pedestrian crossings and for a second crossing which is about 1/4 mile away.

    What legal obligation is there to not sound a horn for the unprotected pedestrian crossings at the station? That’s the argument as is we it and is this 100-200 m of quiet worth the liability ? If so let’s have Atherton accept that liability.

    Joe Reply:

    That’s the argument and is this 100-200 m additional quite zone worth the liability ?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Atherton has three options:
    1. Listen to the train horns
    2. Remove their station
    3. Grade Seperate everything

    William Reply:

    Atherton staion has too less of ridership potential and only 1.1 mile (milepost) from Menlo Park station.

    Caltrain ROW through Atherton is straight and wide enough for 4 pair of tracks. Construct a fully grade-separated ROW would also eliminate the need for train to sound horns, exactly what Atherton wants.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    What Atherton wants is for the trains to go away. And for traffic congestion to be like 1955 again.

    Jerry Reply:

    1955? Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.
    Lola may get it, but not Atherton.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Had the Caltrain upgrade and TBT tunnel been done ca. 1991 a lot of this acrimony would not have been there. Blame Hemminger, Kopp, Willie Brown et al.

  6. Aarond
    Jun 23rd, 2016 at 06:02
    #6

    Before the bill goes any further, they need to include Metrolink in it. Nobody knows how HSR is actually going to get from Burbank to LAUS as the current two tracks are shared by Metrolink, Amtrak and freight. This means that HSR will need two whole new tracks built, if not four. It also means full grade separation of all 4-6 tracks. So, tack on another $3-4 billion just for this.

    Long term when Phase 1 (SF-LA) is already done, this will become more of an issue as the focus centers to doing LA-SD HSR (which will encapsulate the OC ML line).

    Joey Reply:

    $3-4b seems like an overestimate. Most of the ROW is wide enough for additional tracks and there are really only a few grade crossings.

    Aarond Reply:

    You’re right, I was using the Alameda Corridor as a basis but got the math wrong (thought it was 40 miles, not 20).

    For reference: the Alameda Corridor is 20 miles at $2.4 billion, at about $120 million/mile. Burbank to LAUS is about 12 miles which gives us a cost of $1.44 billion. Of course the corridors are different, as the Burbank/LAUS corridor is shorter, but it’s likely that 6 tracks will be needed for freight, ML/Amtrak, and HSR. Anyway, it’s more reason to make the money available now.

    Joey Reply:

    Given anemic Metrolink/Amtrak service levels, I don’t think they need dedicated tracks. And freight doesn’t need two tracks either. Honestly 3 tracks (2 passenger + 1 freight) would probably be sufficient for the next several decades.

    Aarond Reply:

    The problem is that we can’t have ML or Amtrak trains clogging up HSR lines. While service is less than optimal, because two lines run through to Burbank there are ML trains every 30 minutes. On top of that are hourly Surfliners and the occasional Coast Starlight. Also, a small amount of freight. Altogether this is a fairly substantial amount of traffic that can’t be ignored.

    Joey Reply:

    Hourly? No. There are 6 daily surfliner runs that extend north of LA.

    For the number of HSR and Metrolink/Amtrak trains that are actually going to be run, two tracks is more than enough. All the trains operate on a timetable. Metrolink’s mediocre OTP and Amtrak’s somewhat worse OTP are of concern, but that could be solved with a relatively simple policy: a late train waits to merge until the next available time slot. Organization before electronics before concrete.

    Aarond Reply:

    True, though I still consider a 4-6 track corridor would be better as it would allow ML (or even the LACMTA) to run rapid transit service (ie more than 2 trains per hour). It would keep their options for San Fernando Valley open.

    James Fujita Reply:

    All else being equal, it would be way better to allow Cal HSR and Metrolink to operate on separate tracks.

    It is frustrating economic necessity and NIMBY avoidance which allows shared trackage to make more sense.

    Joey Reply:

    All else being equal, it would be way better to allow Cal HSR and Metrolink to operate on separate tracks.

    Why? So that we can have incompatible platforms, uncoordinated schedules, and difficult transfers?

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Actually most HSR systems in the world share tracks only / mostly where no other solutions make sense, e.g. on marginal routes (say an ICE a day that goes on to Lübeck instead of terminating in Hamburg) or in city approaches where speeds are low regardless. Mixing fast and slow decreases capacity. a lot

    Domayv Reply:

    @Bahnfreund: So should the San Fernando Valley line have separate Metrolink/Future Amtrak and HSR tracks

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    This depends at least partially on what the FRA says. If separate tracks along that route means no buff strength but shared tracks mean buff strength the answer is easy.

    If the FRA is not a factor, we would have to look a bit more detailed at it (e.g. what capacities we eventually want) to make a decision.

    Domayv Reply:

    @Bahnfreund: Didn’t the FRA announce that imported UIC (i.e. Europe-built) trains can run on legacy tracks without restriction as long as PTC is implemented on the tracks (the FRA is already requiring that all Class Is install PTC)?

    https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/modern-european-train-designs-american-tracks-2015-fra

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    It seems like it, but the nitty gritty may well be different when some actual design has to get approved…

    Of course the sane way would be “UIC compliant is fine by us”.

    Aarond Reply:

    @Joey

    Metrolink isn’t in the same position Caltrain is in. The latter has had rising ridership and serves the 10th largest US city and the 14th largest. The ML lines in question run to Ventura and Lancaster with 1/10th the ridership. Also, having two dedicated tracks could allow for an MTA takeover of the Ventura/Antelope lines.

    Nathanael Reply:

    Sadly, no, the FRA still has a long list of only-in-the-US rules. Even on PTC-equipped tracks. Yes, the sane way would be “UIC is fine with us”.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    But why?

    Joey Reply:

    I agree, but Metrolink’s operating practice, and in fact their entire attitude toward how they provide service, needs to change first.

    And it’s not that hard to build in a way that allows future expension. You can put a two track aerial next to another two track aerial easily, and it doesn’t really cost you much more in the long run.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    I think everyone expects a 6 track corridor eventually, but a 4 track corridor at minimum. CAHSR will need 2 tracks of its own, of course, because it cant share track with slow diesel service, and in the future, instead of having 2 tracks for Surfliner/Metrolink/UP freight, 2 independent passenger only tracks will, of course, be needed, at least from LAUS to Burbank Airport.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    They do need their own track. They simply cannot share track with diesel service or freight service, but adding in 2 HSR tracks along that corridor should be quite simple.

    Joey Reply:

    Care to justify this claim a bit? Freight is out of course, but sharing with other passenger trains should be fine (see discussion above).

    Aarond Reply:

    I obviously cannot speak in place of Car(e)-Free LA, but Metrolink’s northern lines (Ventura and Antelope) are not known for their high performance. ML’s focus is also on their higher ridership lines (SB, OC and 91).

    I suggest dedicated ML tracks because it would prevent any future ML issues from getting in the way of HSR, and it would give ML a path to improve their San Fernando Valley services. It would also open the door to a possible MTA takeover with vDC metrorail. More options.

    Domayv Reply:

    then why not improve on it (most notably create a new line that follows US-101, which has much more people than the existing Ventura line).

    Aarond Reply:

    Because of the Antelope Valley line. Assuming Palmdale and Lancaster grow, they’ll need better transit service. Even if they don’t, the MTA could make the two local pax lines vDC and connect it to a Burbank subway. Van Nuys and Ventura Co are a different situation though. But again, 2 tracks from Burbank to LA keeps their options open (for example: more Surfliner service instead of ML).

    On another note, HSR (and the CC Salinas extension) makes socal Coast Starlight service almost entirely redundant.

    Domayv Reply:

    @Aarond: what’s a vDC.

    And the Coast Starlight is a poor alternative to cars on US-101 between LA and Bay Area. We need a modern intercity rail service along the line.

    Aarond Reply:

    vDC = shorthand for third rail DC power, in reference to LACMTA metrorail units. I’m suggesting that, if ML were to get their own tracks, they could be handed over to the LACMTA. I’m not saying this is the best option, but it would be a situation made possible if ML got their own tracks.

    Also post HSR (and post CC Salinas) there won’t be any reason to run CS trains south of SJ. The only areas that lose service are small central coast towns. Places that are better served with an expanded Surfliner (say, SJ-Burbank).

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @Aarond
    While I think that replacing the CS south of SJ with a Surfliner extension north would be an improvement, removing the CS without a replacement train would be foolish. It would cut off Ventura, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, and San Luis Ovisbo from the Bay Area, and that isn’t a small population. I personally have often used the CS to get from Santa Barbara to San Jose, when visiting relatives in both cities.

    Domayv Reply:

    @Aarond: why would we need a third rail line for Palmdale and Lancaster when a battery/catenary EMU can do the task with much less complications and faster. 25 kv 60 Hz electrification is much more suitable for Metrolink.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I’ve made the point in the past that Amtrak needs to consolidate several of its long distance trains. The Coast Starlight is a good example.

    The Sunset Limited used to run from San Francisco along the Coast Route to Los Angeles and then to the Mississippi River at New Orleans. Reinstating that route (understanding the capital issues in Arizona for example) would free up Amtrak California to establish a Coast Daylight/Starlight service between SF and LA that would act as commuter train on the day run and as a sleeper on the night run.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    @Aarond. The 91 line is Metrolink’s lowest ridership line, and the antelope valley line it one of its highest.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Actually, it’s the San Bernardino Line, followed by the OC Line that have the highest ridership. But the 91 is still the dog…yes…

    http://www.metrolinktrains.com/pdfs/Facts&Numbers/Monthly_Line_Ridership/Average_and_Total_Ridership_Report_FY16.pdf

    Ted K. Reply:

    The 91 may be a dog, perhaps even a dachshund, and will be stretched on 6 June ’16.

    http://www.metrolinktrains.com/news/news_item/news_id/1096.html

    Thursday May 12, 2016
    LOS ANGELES – Today, Metrolink and Riverside County Transportation Commission officials announced service along the 91/Perris Valley Line (91/PVL) will begin Monday, June 6. The 91/PVL is the first extension of Metrolink service since the Antelope Valley Line was built in 1994.

  7. morris brown
    Jun 24th, 2016 at 06:43
    #7
  8. J. Wong
    Jun 24th, 2016 at 09:13
    #8

    It’s sad that older citizens of the U.K. are willing to screw over the younger citizens (their “children”) to keep the former’s comfort with the way things “were”.

    How like CA HSR! Opponents always argue that not having HSR would be better for the future citizens of California, but that is a complete lie! They oppose HSR because of their own discomfort with the future while their children willingly embrace the future.

    Aarond Reply:

    I don’t consider them the same. Corbyn (who, among other things, supports HS2 and rail nationalization) himself was anti-EU his entire life until last year (due to political necessity). Remember that in five months we have a similar 50/50 shot of having the same thing occur but with Trump.

    Also, there is more than “discomfort” with the EU, given that the EU right now has not addressed major problems within it. Spain has had three elections without a government, Greece’s unemployment has surpassed 25%. Germany’s Austerity (which the GOP want to emulate here) has failed to fix them and has only made problems worse. Meanwhile HSR is proven to work even in the US.

    Danny Reply:

    Dodd-Frank aside, we’re still sitting atop a bubble made of housing (and now cars), and any stimulus can bring it down like 2007-8 (heck, the decennial of that is coming up)
    and the one thing that doesn’t weather recessions is neoliberal candidates: the Clintons are trying to come back to North Haverbrook with a new monorail
    Reaganomics relied on cheap Saudi oil (to bust the USSR’s exports) and keeping Baghdad and Tehran desperate; so we got the petroleum bubble mid-80s; this was followed by the S&L leveraging after Black Monday; the early 90s had the IT bubble (we were all gonna live in cyberspace!) and at the end the dotcoms; the turn of the millennium had energy again (“it’s not Enron’s fault CA’s too green for nuke plants!”) and then housing–and all of these have been flogged as not just surefire investments, but as exempt from the very rules of economics themselves
    now we’re staring down the barrel again after they promised that THIS time growth would be infinite and prosperity would eventually come to the lowliest dishwasher

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    Aarond – how can you say with a straight face that HSR has proven to work even in the U.S. – when the U.S. hasn’t yet built one mile of it?

    A thought on the momentous vote today by Great Britain to divorce itself from the European Union: This decision may well have repercussions on our side of the Atlantic – extending even to having a negative impact on the funding for Caltrain’s electrification. It’s possible that “BREXIT” could “HEX IT,” and put the kybosh to Caltrain’s electrification plans.

    We will have to wait to see what happens after the dust has settled and the way forward becomes clearer. “Brexit” is already having a huge impact on the world’s financial markets, and there may well be political repercussions extending all the way to and beyond November, 2016.

    synonymouse Reply:

    HSR has proven to work exceptionally well for PB-Tutor.

    Aarond Reply:

    The Acela runs at 150 mph on some sections. It’s straddling the line, but it’s technically HSR.

    Also, last time I checked in no way does the BRexit vote repeal California Prop 1A. In fact, the BRexit vote *itself* is non-binding, it’s just a public referendum. It’s up to the next British government to decide what exactly it means. They could do anything from “negotiating” a better deal, to subjecting it to a Parliamentary vote, or even going for another “official” binding referendum with a 2/3rds bar. They could also just leave.

    Which is why right now it’s more a vote of no confidence, than an actual statement of policy. What the BRexit actually means is yet to be determined, and we probably won’t get an exact picture until the new year.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Gosh I hope they don’t leave. That would be cataclysmic. I am so happy there is a way around it.

    Aarond Reply:

    Nobody actually knows what an “EU exit” looks like. That’s the unanswered question. Taken strictly, the Tories could throw a fast one and require a 2/3rds vote, or simply renegotiate their membership with the EU. Or they could just inform them and leave.

    Both major parties (Conservatives and Labour) are split 50/50 on this issue, and if the Tories don’t deliver there’s a third party, UKIP, ready to steal seats. The only party that is united on staying is the SNP, who will certainly be given their own referendum now.

    Again it’s also important to remember that the election was split 48/51, a coin flip. Both Farange and Cameron expected “remain” to win. Farange even publicly said so a few hours before all the votes were counted. Everyone is in uncharted territory.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    UKIP isn’t the third party. It is behind the SNP (Scottish independence), Liberal Democrats (united on pro EU and globalization), and BNP (neo Nazis)

    Aarond Reply:

    It might as well be. 17,410,742 Britons support UKIP’s position. That’s a dagger over the Tories’ head.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    The Tories voted majority out.

    Miles Bader Reply:

    The UKIP is a single-issue joke party. Even among those who supported brexit, nobody actually wants the UKIP in charge of anything.

    Aarond Reply:

    UKIP was never meant to be in charge, from day one it was meant to be a means of leveraging the Conservatives into a referendum. It achieved that goal, as now if the Tories don’t deliver on the BRexit Farange has enough fuel to poach Tory MPs. Not enough to get 51%, but enough to break the Tory majority.

    They certainly are not a joke any more. Cameron himself is resigning because of them.

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    The Conservative and Labour parties will form a coalition if that is what it takes to keep UKIP out of power. Nobody expects them to win over 50% of seats, so there isn’t anything to worry about.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    The Labour Party will be wiped out at the next election.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Nobody expected that Texan Clown from Connecticut to become President. Yet he did. And was reelected. Nobody expected that has been actor from the Cowboy B-movies…

    Need I go on?

    Aarond Reply:

    Also: Greece’s stock market is down 13% today. That’s a massive plunge, and will make their current depression much worse. This happens just as the amount of migrants coming in is doubling, which will likely run up to 250,000-300,000 this year, most of which will flow through Greece to Germany.

    http://data.unhcr.org/mediterranean/country.php?id=83

    When I said there are problems in the EU, I wasn’t joking. Greece’s only way out is to readopt the (almost worthless) Drachma to allow for foreign investment. However, this also undermines the EU as Greece would steal all the manufacturing jobs from Germany. The spark could be if migrants are locked into Greece if Germany and France kill schengen.

    In other words, the cataclysm has already started. The fact that the BRexit vote is occurring at all is again, a sign of no confidence. The first thing Britons see after the Chunnel are the 6,000 migrants in Calais.

    Leave or not, the EU needs to get moving or someone else will.

    Aarond Reply:

    some numbers:

    http://data.unhcr.org/mediterranean/country.php?id=83

    856,723 arrivals by sea in 2015
    157,988 arrivals by sea in 2016 (so far)
    56,975 “persons of concern” (refugees) in Greece

    I don’t mean to sound like a paranoid infowars reader, but put bluntly this is a Tragedy of the Commons. Given no border controls and free food, housing and healthcare for migrants in northern europe what is happening is totally rational (in the economic sense).

    And, to put things into perspective: the country that borders Greece in the East (Turkey) has about ~2.5 million refugees and is run by an openly corrupt leader.

    Joe Reply:

    No commons involved.

    You exaggerate the enticements. People are making very high risk migrations and leaving intolerable situations.

    It’s a emigration due to war and climate.. War brought about by severe, persistent drought and invasion of Iraq and disbanding and economic abandonment of the Iraq army.

    Aarond Reply:

    Of course it is the west that caused all these problems: remember the arab spring? Just the ability to get clean water is enough to risk death. Economically speaking, all the refugees are operating in their own rational self-interest.

    However, the foreign policy problem has cascaded into an internal EU issue now. Remember Rotherham? Action (or rather, inaction) has consequences. The EU needs to get their act together and provide a solution or someone else will prove their own.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Ygads at that rate they’ll be 1 percent of the population in 6 years!

    JB in PA Reply:

    I recall James Burke in one of his documentaries more than 25 years ago extrapolated future effects of a changing climate and growing population including climate/population refugees flooding north across US borders and across the Mediterranean. I was impressed with his connections series and liked the way he would follow the development of a technology across time and space.

    Aarond Reply:

    @ adirondacker12800

    Greece has already had the equivalent of 1% of their population pass through them. For comparison, imagine if 800,000 people washed up in (nearly bankrupt) Atlantic City, then walked 2,700 miles west to Seattle. It’d be a humanitarian crisis, which is what the migrant crisis *in europe* is now.

    Hurricane Katrina generated about ~340,000 displaced people, most of whom got assistance from FEMA while New Orleans was secured by the (federally subsidized) LA national guard. The EU doesn’t have that, which causes things to go from bad to worse.

    All of this costs money, which Brits don’t want to provide if there is no evidence that the EU is able to spend it to avert things from going from worse to untenable.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Until Wednesday there were, in nice round numbers, half a billion people in the EU. at 800.000 a year it takes a while to get to 5,000,000. If you don’t run out of refugees first.

    Aarond Reply:

    @ adirondacker12800

    800,000 a year is not small. This amount of migration has not happened in europe since the holocaust. While it’s certainly possible to house, clothe, and feed 6,000,000 people having them be (more or less) displaced is a recipe for disaster.

    Here in the US we have centralized law enforcement, welfare, and emergency response systems. FEMA was able to move emergency housing into Louisiana by rail +48 days after Katrina:

    http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=202223
    http://www.jreb.org/ns/index.php?topic=30.0

    We are currently +1,928 days since the Syrian civil war began, with no similar coordinated housing operation in europe. As long as the EU remains unwilling/unable to act, individual states will be forced to take matters into their own hands and solve their specific problems themselves.

    The BRexit was British voters (selfishly or not), deciding that they don’t want to pay for the refugees (like us Californians did with Katrina’s refugees through our income taxes).

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    In nice round numbers it’s the population growth in Texas in two years.

    Aarond Reply:

    And the population growth in Texas are all taxpayers, especially ones who will pay both property and sales taxes. Refugees (at least in theory) do not take jobs, and usually have no money. Texas also has six times the GDP of Greece.

    Regardless, the sheer displacement is *the* major problem here. Every refugee that enters the EU is homeless. Individually, bankrupt states like Greece are not capable of handling it on their own and the lack of any border controls has led to effective blackmailing from Turkey.

    My entire point is that the EU right now is very weak and needs to federalize and centralize if it wants to survive.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Everybody who moves to Texas is homeless. Except for the few people who drag along an RV.

    Aarond Reply:

    That’s wrong, I know people who bought homes out there. Median price is about ~$200,000 which is quarter of what homes cost here. Even Tracy is about $300,000 for a fixer upper.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I know people who moved to Texas too. They leave whatever it is they are living in and get a different one in Texas. Usually much bigger and much cheaper. Almost always much newer too.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Back in the bad old days rulers (a surprising number of them Hohenzollern) would say to (usually religious) refugees “come here and I will give you privilege A B and C as well as free practice of your religion as long as you live in undesirable part of the country X”. Trust me, Europe, especially its center and East has a lot of empty space (aka shrinking cities) and undesirable parts to live in. I see no reason besides racism why those regions could not take in people.

    Reedman Reply:

    If Greece reneged on its loans/bonds/debts, it may be kicked out of the euro and EU (as opposed to deciding to leave). [Iceland is not part of the EU (it is part of the European Free Trade Area and European Economic Area). When its banks failed and the country didn’t bail them out, it was the end of Iceland being able to join the EU. It had to devalue its currency about 60 percent and put its bankers in jail to deal with the economic backlash.]

    Nathanael Reply:

    And Iceland has done *extremely* well since then, because putting the bankers in jail and devaluing the currency by 60% were the *right* things to do.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Iceland just beat England at soccer.

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    @ Car(e)-Free LA:

    Today, June 24, 2016, the final results are now in on the national vote for Britain to stay in the European Union, or to leave it, .

    The “LEAVE” option won by fifty-four percent of the vote. Forty-eight percent voted to “STAY.”

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I know, but the referendum is non binding, so the government doesn’t actually have to follow it.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Nor does a future government even have to obey it.

    Nathanael Reply:

    They’re leaving. Failure to respect a democratic mandate == revolution. The British political class have understood this since the Glorious Revolution 1688.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What about the parliament that went to war in 1939 never once being subject to elections until after the war was over?

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    You understand the general concept of democracy right? People get to decide even when they are “wrong”. Besides the EU is not even a union. There is no elected representative at the “federal” level. It’s more like a confederation with strong treaties.

    It’s a shame they could not convince Britan of the benefits, but you have to respect their choice.

    Jerry Reply:

    Where’s Peggy Lee when you need her?
    “Is that all there is” to the EU?
    “Is that all there is” to a democracy?

    Trentbridge Reply:

    California voted to ban gay marriage by the same margin but the courts decided you can’t take away rights from people. I think the same applies to BREXIT – you can’t suddenly deprive millions of younger voters and younger non-voters of their right to work or study in 27 European countries because the older generation is racist and anti-immigrant. What if the referendum was to sterilize muslims? It would pass – wouldn’t it? Democracy only determines what is popular not what is right.

    Joe Reply:

    US has 2/3 majority threshold for major decisions like amending constitution. Britex should had had higher threshold.

    Legislation has a constitutional check thanks to courts asserting that power.

    UK has no constitution.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Was there a 2/3 majority vote when Britain joined the EC?

    Joe Reply:

    I don’t know. Can you please to the research and answer this question for us?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    non binding referendums aren’t people’s choice votes, in the same way measures are. Essentially, they are a very very large poll to see what the general public thinks. For instance, Puerto Rico has had several referendums in favor of becoming a state, but nothing has come of that. Sometimes, especially when public opinion is 50/50, the government must take the less popular option for the sake of the British and global economy.

    Aarond Reply:

    @ Car(e)-Free LA

    You’re correct, but the Tories want to remain in power. Britain is a multi-party state and both Farange and Corbyn agree on the BRexit. The actual EU exit process only requires a re-negotiation of the current UK-EU treaty. There is no requirement for any vote, just that someone has to do something labelled “negotiate”. Britain is still on the Pound as well, which removes much of the difficulty of leaving.

    It’s all internal Conservative politics now. Remember that again, nobody expected “leave” to win. Cameron bet his entire career on this which is now over. The Tories have no leader with Farange at the door.

    Neil Shea Reply:

    Farange is not willing to serve as PM. Johnson will underwhelm. Corbyn showed no leadership in this cycle, he should go.

    Edward Reply:

    Just to clarify a few things mentioned above:

    There have been four referendums in Puerto Rico on their status. Only the fourth one in 2012 was slightly in favor of statehood, and there is a bit of controversy about that.

    To amend the US Constitution requires either a constitutional convention (never used) or a 2/3 vote of both houses of congress and then the agreement of 3/4 of the state legislatures (or their constitutional conventions, but that has also not been used).

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Corbyn campaigned for stay.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Thank you Jos. 102% of the people have spoken…

    Jerry Reply:

    The extra 2% were from Chicago.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    I thought JEB!’s Florida…

  9. Roland
    Jun 24th, 2016 at 17:20
    #9

    San Jose Rule #1: Nobody messes with the Sharks: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/06/24/sharks-sue-san-jose-over-600-milliontech-campus.html

    Joe Reply:

    Pittsburg messes with the Sharks.

    Joe Reply:

    Note that “The Sharks’ parent organization leases and manages SAP Center from the city.”

    Time for a new lease.

    Roland Reply:

    To the Warriors or ???

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    San José rule #2 : Wait, you’re not talking about Costa Rica?

  10. JimInPollockPines
    Jun 24th, 2016 at 22:17
    #10

    Lets ride the brexit spirit and do it here too

    Ted Judah Reply:

    California is way too dependent on federal money and federally-subsidized water to pull such a feat off.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    California already exerts a positive influence on the rest of the world and we could do more good as a country rather than an American state.

    Beyond that, it is insulting that California, the seventh largest economy in the world, the most populous and diverse state in the country, and a place that literally feeds the Nation:
    1.is not afforded adequate representation in Washington;
    2.has not mattered in a presidential election since 1876; and,
    3.has not received its fair share of federal funding since 1987.

    California pays, on average, $50 billion more in federal taxes than we receive in federal funding each year. This $50 billion are instead being spent mostly in the states of the old Confederacy

    synonymouse Reply:

    SoCal should break off and be repo’d by Mexico.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Im not giving up Hollywood or Palm Springs.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Palm springs I don’t care about, but I’d like to keep everything from Pasadena to Sherman Oaks to Playa Vista to USC

    Jerry Reply:

    Hey, that $50 Billion could pay for HSR.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    exactly, and that’s just one year. not too mention being free to make our own international trade deals and immigration policy. and best of all, never having to pay attention to the buffoonery in Washington dc ever again.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Just like the number Farage invented when it comes to the NHS?

    Jerry Reply:

     The 25 least populous states contain less than one-sixth of the total population. California, the most populous state, contains more people than the 21 least populous states combined.

    Jerry Reply:

    And California gets 55 Electoral Votes.
    Those other 21 states with a total population less than California get a total of 89 Electoral Votes. Go figure.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The electoral college is a travesty unbefitting of a major democracy.

    Edward Reply:

    Several other economies have had some bad times. California is now the sixth largest economy in the world, up from seventh. California also has an economic growth rate twice that of Texas.

    Because of our house prices some people are leaving for cheaper digs. An almost equal number are arriving because of economic opportunity. And the population is increasing almost entirely because of internal growth. People are having babies again after a period when women were delaying having children. That is another result of a good economy.

    Zorro Reply:

    Breaking off and becoming a Nation? That ain’t happening, that if it were even remotely possible, would be very expensive, California is missing quite a bit of Governmental services that it would need that other Nations and the USA have, like our own Military, a Diplomatic/Foreign Service. In any case it’s just not happening.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    What about a “North American Union” with the US, Cali, Mexico and Canada in it?

    I know it sounds stupid…

    Because it is.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Not really. The USA and Canada, at the very least, ought to adopt open borders and a common currency.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Been there done that until that radical Richard Nixon took us off the gold standard.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The stupid part is Cali being independent. Open border from Yucatan to Hudson’s Bay would actually be awesome.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Ok , I will rise to the bait.

    1st, the easy part. CA does get equal representation. In the house they get get a porpotion of delegates related to the population. They also get 2 senator like ever other state. And they get get a elector college votes as proportioned on the constitution. All this was already known BEFORE CA joined the union. The system has not changed since they joined.

    2. In every federal government, there are some citizens that pay more and some less. For example, 20% of the pipulation pays 80% of the federal taxes. That is “unfair” per your argument because They don’t use 80% of the services. In fact they use very little compared to the bottom 20%.

    Furthermore, this is essential to running a federal government. The whole point is to smooth out the economic disparities within the border. If you don’t, and you have common money you get Greece. Why does CA get proportionally less fed money? Because they proportionally more rich people. Be happy you are more well off than Mississippi.

    3rd, we will ignore the fact that the US has already fought 1 civil war to remain whole and concentrate on the financial. You seem to think that CA can break off, but keep the good stuff like the dollar, free travel to other states, free trade with the US market, US court protections, US military protections, etc. does not work that way. At best you could hope to evolve to Canada with a relationship.

    Finally, the big reason. The people of CA don’t want to leave.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Krugman, a liberal economist I hate but I bet you live explains point 2 above

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/revenge-of-the-optimum-currency-area/

    Joe Reply:

    Senate is not proportional representation. Wyoming, SF population, has two senators.

    Senate also self-asserted 2/3 majority to pass leglislation via filibuster rule.

    Disproportionally assigned representation and 2/3 majority requirement when any single member requests that threshold.

    If congress interfered with CA with intrusive federal laws, we’d be more tempted to pull out.

    Biggest reason to stay is state is allowed to self govern and build progressive society. State has access to natural resources from over-represented red states. Attract talented workers from
    Other states and build larger economy.

    We draw talented people and offer tolerant society.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    They wouldn’t be emigrating from other states. They’d be leaving the U.S.
    They’d have to petition to immigrate.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    If CA were to secede, it would have open borders with the USA, and ideally Canada and Mexico as well. When it comes to immigration, the answer is simple: Let them all come if they like.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Borders work two ways. Ask Canadians and Mexicans how open the border is.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    What are you trying to say?

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    California may decide it doesn’t want any border controls with Nevada, Arizona and Oregon but the U.S. isn’t going to consult with the new country of California about how it controls it’s new border. Get your passport out to go to Las Vegas.

    Joe Reply:

    Oh no a passport.

    Get your passport or federally sanctioned ID to fly to Las Vegas from anywhere within the US. Try driving instead – oh noes!! you need a license.

    Numbingly ignorant argument that financially disadvantaged policies will appear. ”
    “No Las Vegas gambling for you California.”
    “No Over priced electricity for you California. We’re shutting down and laying people off. Ha !”
    “No real estate for you Califronians”.

    Califronia isn’t leaving the US.
    The US doesn’t have these draconian policies for Mexico or Canada.

    US is not run by angry upper state NY residents.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Last time I looked Nevada is not in California. You’d need a passport to enter the U.S. from the newly independent country of California.
    I’m a US citizen. I’m old enough to remember crossing the border before the DHS forced us all to get passports. You need a passport to reenter the country.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The Senate was created to ensure the North could not outlaw slavery over the objections of the South. Time to change this body in some way. How about we keep the House in its current form but make a proportionally elected lower house?

    Joe Reply:

    Biggest reason to stay -> My point is staying in US allows CA to brain drain the entire US and have access to natural resources without barriers.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Like the electricity you “import”. The people in Utah and Arizona are going to look dimly on polluting their air so it can be exported out of the country.

    Joe Reply:

    You need to stop the stereotypical ragging on California.
    I’m explianing why Califronia should stay.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I’m explaining that Arizonans and the federal EPA are less likely to accommodate a foreign country.

    joe Reply:

    You’re telling me your uninformed opinion.

    EPA isn’t swayed by who buys the product or service. No such thing as good pollution. It’s irrelevant.

    We already trade electricity across international borders. There’s no reason to suggest this would be any different.

    Arizona citizens could demand they break contracts, turn off capacity and fire workers to satisfy your grudge.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The contract is valid in the U.S. California secedes they aren’t in the U.S. anymore.

    Joe Reply:

    Reduce capacity, Fire workers. You rock.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The workers can emigrate to California. Where there will be plenty of work maintaining the solar systems built to replace it.

    Joe Reply:

    ..and I sincerely doubt they’d object to pollution given the western US resource extraction economy doesn’t discriminate form expected or domestic consumption.

    Joe Reply:

    West not discriminate between exported or domestic consumers. Desire is to export globally to reap great return on environmentally damaging resource extraction industries.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    The perverse thing is that California would be much more important if it were broken up in a bunch of smaller states. Maybe even gerrymandered as to ensure maximum purpleness (just how much Central Valley do you need to balance out Hollywood liberals?)

    Aarond Reply:

    I’d rather have the feds give us $35 billion for HSR instead. Might as well milk what we can get.

    synonymouse Reply:

    “us” means PB-Tutor.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    You are joking, right. Surely you don’t actually want to break off from the USA. Us doing so would plunge them into a GOP led mess, and make us smaller and less powerful. The only way this could be a remotely good idea would be off we formed a larger nation of Pacifica, with AK, BC, AB, WA, OR, the Yukon, ID, western MT, UT, CO, northwestern NM, AZ, CA, HI, and the mexican States of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora, Sinaloa, Jalisco, and Colima. (Essentially following the rocky Sierra accidental, rocky mountains, and Saskatchewan river drainage.) A combined state would have a population in the hundred millions, a large area, and it’s largest city and logical capital would be Los Angeles. Furthermore, such an idea would only be good if the nations of Canada, the USA, Mexico, and Pacifica adopted open borders and a single currency.

    Just remember, when it comes to countries–bigger is better.a

    Ted K. Reply:

    Have you been reading Garreau’s “Nine Nations of North America” ? Your ‘Pacifica’ is a fusion of his Ecotopia plus portions of MexAmerica and the Empty Quarter. A link to the Wikipedia article on the book is below.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nine_Nations_of_North_America

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Why would the rich people on the coasts want the welfare queens in the interior?

    synonymouse Reply:

    Upstate NYC wants LA’s homeless?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    No, I have never read that, but I have heard of it. I simply think that logical points for national borders are in the least dense areas, like the great plains. Also, British Columbia, Baja California, Denver, and Salt Lake City seem to have more in common with California than with the eastern parts of their own countries.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    Actually leaving the US to fend for themselves without us would be a plus. Personally I don’t like the united states. I consider myself to be a californian. I think the other states and the other americans are nothing big great big pain in the ass. Im sick to death of progress being stopped by that nation of people who have their heads up their asses and Im sick to death of american politics. don’t want them don’t need them, to hell with them.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Ca voted to outlaw gay marriage. They voted for English only in schools. Tell me again about CA progressives?

    joe Reply:

    We make two steps forward and one backwards.

    Prop 8 and Prop 187 both unconstitutional and both angered the larger population, bringing people previously less involved with politics to vote and more active.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Exactly, the population of CA is not so “progressive” that they wre not immune to poor choices. Hence the need for laws that are not subject to the whims of the majority, but not so immutable they can’t be changed (slavery, prohibition).

    Without that federal constitution, btw, those would be enshrined in the CA laws.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    The new country would adopt a constitution.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Ha. Now that would be worth the price of admission right there. The process of passing a constitution in this day and age with a set of privileged and zealous micro constituencies. I think it is safe to say it won’t be 2-3 pages

    Presidency or Prime Minister?
    2 legislative houses?
    Supreme Court appointed for life? Or should they be elected?

    The basic rights alone would be a hoot.

    No gun rights, but do they go farther and outlaw guns altogether. That will go over great with the ~20% of the population that already owns them.

    Freedom of the press seems like a no brainier, but the right to privacy conflicts with that.
    Freedom of speech, but that allows disparaging and insulting…can’t have that.
    New rights like healthcare, housing, and even pay. I mean the sky is the limit.

    Does it pass with 2/3rd or 3/4th or just a majority. As a whole document or each part passed separately?

    It would be worth the whole thing just watching that process. In fact, if I were the president I would agree to the succession once they had a signed constitution. It would guarantee it never happens.

    :-)

    car(e)-free LA Reply:

    Prime Minister please. Not having coalition governments, many parties, and a general misalignment between the executive and legislative branches is what makes the USA’s government so dysfunctional.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I think I’d be a pretty good King. It’s the accent you know. I’ll take the job on anyway, see how it goes.

    John Nachtigall Reply:

    Oh yeah, not having a government at all (Spain, Netherlands, Greece) is much better. Or having a party of the minority run the government (Germany, Canada) is also good.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    I consider myself a west Coaster. At the very least, and independent CA ought to bring Oregon and Washington along with it, and probably Alaska and Hawaii as well.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    Why?

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    They are geographically, culturally, and economically tied, and they would all benefit from being combined.

    JimInPollockPines Reply:

    actually I have 15 years of work left and we are already planning to get the hell out of the US after that. probably to my husbands home country of guatemala. I can’t come fast enough.

    synonymouse Reply:

    Relative in the Coast Guard says basically they can’t go much in town in El Salvador, neighboring country, due to the high level of violence. Bodies in the street.

    les Reply:

    Yes, but San Salvador has a killer La Quinta Inn. For a 100.00 you live like a king.

    Joe Reply:

    muslim no go zones in London too.

    Car(e)-Free LA Reply:

    Nor really. I have been to the slums of Colombia, London, and plenty of other places and never once felt unsafe.

    Bahnfreund Reply:

    El Salvador has a lot of gang violence (courtesy of a long and bloody civil war and former inmates of US prisons), but as so often happens, they mostly kill one another. However, I have not yet been there, so I would not dare to say I speak with any authority on the matter. Nicaragua is certainly less safe than most places in Europe (at least if you are white), but I survived taxis and buses in Managua, which is more most crime in the country happens.

    Domayv Reply:

    you should see what happens to the women over there. they get killed in such savage, vicious, and brutal ways that their deaths look like they came straight out of a slasher movie, and all because the killers find it fun. The murders against females over there are so pervasive (it’s considered as #1 in terms of murders on women) that they even came up with a term: femicide.

  11. keith saggers
    Jun 25th, 2016 at 12:48
    #11

    The Authority is committed to powering the high-speed rail system with 100 percent renewable energy sources, maximizing the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions throughout design and construction, and making energy efficiency a priority in design. This includes constructing zero net energy buildings and electric vehicle charging infrastructure at rail stations as well as partnerships with local public transit agencies. A link to this MOU can be found here: http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/about/partnerships/mou/MOU_with_Energy_Commission_June_2016.pdf

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