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Citizen Voices

Besides Proposition 1A--the high speed rail initiative-- all other bond measures on the Nov 4th ballot will likely get a "no" vote from me.  For one thing, Sacramento lawmakers including the governor have proposed using monies earmarked for past bond initiatives to balance the state budget.  What good does approving debt do for California taxpayers when projects get scuttled during a financial pinch?

The reason why Prop 1A deserves special attention in my opinion is the long-overdue goal of efficient statewide mass transit. 

High speed rail, or bullet trains, belongs in California.  Our state's historically expanding population demands improving mass transit systems, not just better taxpayer funded highways for individually operated vehicles.  Given the high cost of gasoline, vehicle maintenance, and insurance, a bullet train to and from one's destinations should make using the alternative to one's own vehicle an attractive option for most commuters.  The weekday business traveler would benefit as much from the ease and convenience of an intrastate train as would the weekend leisure traveler. 

Do you think it sounds too good to be true?  .

Chuck from Escondido, CA
October 27, 2008 at 09:57 PM
I'll vote for it too, but I'd also answer yes to your question about whether it sounds too good to be true. The timing on this was awful given the economy and the state budget problems, but it still represents the last, best, hope for many, many years for long distance travel that isn't based on personal cars and airline hubs.

Matthew C. Scallon
October 27, 2008 at 11:51 PM
And yet, even if it's built, it won't go the length of the state. It'll only connect the Bay Area with Los Angeles. Someone already does that. They're called Southwest Airlines. We here in San Diego will still have to muttle through with Amtrak to L.A, or the aforementioned SWA (maybe Virgin America). Ditto everyone living among the redwoods north of Sausalito. Not exactly including the entire state, now is it?

Matthew C. Scallon
October 27, 2008 at 11:59 PM
Full disclosure: I take the trolley into work nearly every day, so I'm not hating on public transport.

Chuck from Escondido, CA
October 28, 2008 at 02:22 PM
@Matt Actually the plans include coming to San Diego via Escondido.

Matthew C. Scallon
October 28, 2008 at 07:34 PM
@Chuck, I stand corrected in regard to San Diego. Serves me right for getting my information from L.A. journalists. My bad. I still stand behind what I said about northern California --and I mean real northern California, not the central bay area we call northern California. There may not be as many people there as there are in the major metropolitan areas, but I don't see why they should pay for something which doesn't serve them. Public transport, for better or worse, has to serve less populated areas as well. If they don't, communities served by this train should fund this train rather than dragging the entire state into the funding.

Chuck from Escondido, CA
October 28, 2008 at 10:15 PM
@ Matt - Personally, they should eventually connect the whole length of the I-5 corridor up to Seattle, and throw in spurs to Reno and Las Vegas. But for now I think it does enough for the majority of the state, and gives a rational focus to the larger population centers, to be a nice start of something good. If they don't muck it up, something I'm not entirely confident about.

Alma from San Diego
October 29, 2008 at 12:52 AM
It would be great if more populous cities, instead of just popular ones, were serviced by the train. A positive aspect of Prop 1A is the funding that other train lines would receive so that they can take commuters from outlying cities to the bullet train. But as Chuck said, as long as it doesn't get mucked up it's a good plan.

Don from San Diego
October 29, 2008 at 05:03 PM
This proposition only supports the building of a rail line between San Fan and LA. Although I support this prop, we need to go further in building more rail around our county along with other means of transportation. Myrecent trip to New York city made me realize that a region of their size and population does well with a multile pronged solution to transportation. Rail, bus, and freeway is an apporach that our state would do well with getting our commuters around. A populous that isn't stuck in traffic is a more happy and more productive people.

Alma Sove from San Diego
October 29, 2008 at 05:27 PM
Amen, Don!

November 07, 2008 at 06:14 AM
I can't believe this passed. Of all the things we need in California, this isn't it. I want to go to court fighting this, I'm soo mad. We have airlines, highways, etc. We aren't the East COAST. IT's 6hours from SF to LA not 3 from Philly to DC or 1.5 hours from Philly to NY. BIGG, BIG difference. Fix the roads and BART, etc. Not many of us go from LA to SF regularly.

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