The US High Speed Rail Association (USHSR) applauds Governor Brown for his vision, leadership and commitment to the state's new high speed rail project. USHSR and its 250 members fully support this visionary transportation project, and commend Governor Brown for leading the way in getting America to think big again.
Governor Brown, in his second State of the State address yesterday, came out strongly supporting the state's new high speed rail project while blasting the critics: "The Central Valley Water Project was called a 'fantastic dream' that 'will not work,' " Brown said. "The master plan for the interstate highway system in 1939 was derided as 'New Deal jitterbug economics.' In 1966, then-Mayor Johnson of Berkeley called BART a 'billion-dollar potential fiasco.' Similarly, the Panama Canal was for years thought to be impractical, and Benjamin Disraeli himself said of the Suez Canal: 'Totally impossible to be carried out.' The critics were wrong then, and they're wrong now.'' said Governor Brown.
"We cannot afford to let shortsightedness or politics dictate our future" said Jim Earp, executive director, California Alliance for Jobs. "Forward-thinking projects like high-speed rail offer tremendous environmental, economic and transportation benefits that are well worth the investment, not only now but for future generations."
USHSR supports the California high speed rail system as a Special Project of National Significance. "It's the largest, most advanced HSR project in the nation, with the first phase readying to go out to bid" said Andy Kunz, USHSR president. "There's widespread public and business support for this project. A number of major national and international investors are interested in public-private partnerships. The project is already creating jobs, and many more coming once construction begins. It will become a national demonstration project for advanced HSR technology in America." Given the location near Silicon Valley, a new high tech industry could evolve around HSR.
"California will be the first test of 220-mph trains on American soil, quickly advancing the nation from last place in the world, to first place in global state-of-the-art HSR." added Kunz. Governor Brown said "those who believe that California is in decline will naturally shrink back from such a strenuous undertaking, I understand that feeling, but I don't share it because I know this state and the spirit of the people who choose to live here."
USHSR views increased investment in HSR as both visionary and pragmatic. It's visionary for thinking big and working for something better. It's pragmatic and fiscally conservative because it's a smart investment in the nation's future. HSR creates millions of jobs, revives our manufacturing sector, stimulates real estate development, and sets up America to save energy, money, and time — year after year. It delivers a fast and reliable mobility option, it protects the nation from energy price spikes, and increases national security by reducing our dependency on foreign oil.
The California HSR system will be one of the main topics at USHSR's upcoming High Speed Rail Summit taking place Feb. 28 - March 1 in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.ushsr.com