Proposition 1A, the $9.95-billion bond measure, received over 52 percent of the vote in November. It ushers in the beginning of a $45 billion-plus, 10-year, 700-mile infrastructure construction project that promises 160,000 construction jobs.
If it works out just right, California's High-Speed Rail Authority (www.californiahighspeedtrains.com) says the completed 220-mph electric high-speed trains will:
- Create 160,000 construction jobs and 450,000 permanent new jobs — American jobs that can't be outsourced.
- Take 92 million vehicle trips off of the road every year.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12 billion pounds a year.
- Reduce our dependence on foreign oil by up to 12.7 million barrels a year.
- Increase commerce and tourism throughout the state.
- Take travelers from the Bay Area to Southern California in two-plus hours, with stops in every major city on the way.
- Set the standard for fast, safe and efficient transportation in the 21st century.
Added to that, the Rail Authority says over 100,000 passengers will be riding the rails each year by 2030.