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Print | High Speed Rail Opposition
Post Letter to the Editor - Jan 09 2012
by Post Editor : letters@portervillepost.com

To: Supervisor Mike Ennis

I notice from the paper {Porterville Recorder} that this subject will be on the agenda tomorrow {Jan 10th 2012} at the Board of Supervisors meeting.

I want to make it clear that I am in total opposition to this boondoggle. There have been reams of data put out showing that this will only waste taxpayer money and not benefit movement of people. This comes at a time when CA governor Brown is pushing for higher taxes on the "rich" and increasing sale taxes on everyone to finance his further wasteful spending. I urge you to oppose HSR also!

Here are just a few arguments against HSR:

This is from the Economist.com: The problem in making the case for high-speed rail in California is that, though it is the most populous state in the union, there are simply not enough people packed into the 50-mile wide coastal strip that wends its way 350 miles from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Put it this way: The Japanese Shinkansen plying the Tokaido route have access to some 180,000 potential passengers per mile of high-speed track. Even by 2025, when California's population is likely to have grown from today's 38m to 46m or so, the number of people within the coastal strip is unlikely to exceed 85,000 per mile of track.

To put it yet another way, coastal Californians would have to live cheek-by-jowl - as  Japanese people in the megalopolis that stretches from Tokyo to Osaka do - to have any chance of a high-speed rail service that offered at least half a dozen trains an hour and did not require huge tax-payer subsidies. Few would be prepared to make such a sacrifice. With petrol costing half the price paid in Japan and Europe, they will doubtless continue to use their cars for two-to-three-hour journeys and fly for anything longer.

It should be abundantly clear to anyone with common sense that Californians prefer to drive their own cars. If they want to get there quicker they can go by air.

What we should do is promote air travel by helicopter and plane. Air travel is cheaper and faster than by rail. There are no rails to build and no land mass needed which can be used for agriculture and other uses. I used helicopter service to travel from Orange County 50 years ago to avoid traffic and get there quicker.

There have been more innovations in helicopters in the past 50 years. They are quieter, much more efficient, faster and carry more people. For short trips like within CA they have the added advantage of not needing runways and only a landing pad.

I could make more cases against HSR but the time is short. I am asking that you share this information with the Board and response to me on this issue.

Thank you and best regards,

Sincerely ... Bob Inabinette bobeye@hughes.net from Springville, CA.

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