The year started off with a bang in California, thanks to the groundbreaking of the much-delayed high speed rail line which would allow a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than three hours.
Yes, you read that right. Travelling at a speed of over 200 mph, the long trip usually takes about 12 hours, but will soon take a fraction of the time. The project, which was approved six years ago, is expected to cost $68-billion (gulp) and take about 15 years to complete.
Like any big project, there are pros and cons, and those for and against the argument. With issues like transit or anything that could mean higher taxes, those against are very vocal (Torontonians can vouch for this!).
The Californians who don’t support the high-speed railway believe that the project could end up costing way more than the $68-billion, and would only benefit wealthy Californians. Others worry that people won’t be able to afford it, or won’t want to use it seeing as the train ride from Los Angeles to San Francisco is a beautiful, scenic adventure in itself.
On the other hand, we, as well as those for the project, love that it’s innovative and a huge leap for transit in the US (Europe has been using high-speed rail for years). Also, according to California’s High-Speed Rail Authority, the environmental benefits will be worth it: “10 million fewer miles of vehicle travel every day in the state by 2040; a reduction of more than 80 flights a day; and greatly reduced greenhouse emissions.”
Regardless of whether you’re totally against the idea of a high-speed rail line, it’s on its way, albeit not for many, many more years. We’ll share some progress with you from time to time on Twitter, so be sure to follow us there!