A Step in the Right Direction: High Speed Rail in the Central Valley

The central valley is certainly starting off the New Year on the right foot. Along with working towards minimizing the use of grocery store plastic bags, Fresno has broken ground on the Nation’s first high speed train. In the words of Kool & the Gang this is “a celebration to last throughout the years”. 

As an avid traveler to the North and South, this is the greatest step for California since the introduction of Windows 95. Metropolitan communities have always been of interest to me so to be able to leave work and then being able to spend the evening in the city highly appeals to me.

Per the Associated Press, California’s first step in the right direction started in 2008 when it approved the bond; furthermore, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency supports this endeavor:
Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said the all-electric trains, running on renewable energy, will take cars off highways and provide an effective alternative to flying on jet fuel, which pumps far more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. "High speed rail is good for our health, it is good for our climate and it is good for our economy,"
First off, renewable energy? This is the stuff the nation, more specifically, California’s 38 million residents really need. The EPA hit it right on the button. The list of benefits from this keeps growing every day. Lesser cars on the road mean lesser emissions, lesser car accidents and even lesser speeding tickets (now that’s a great day for everyone). California’s economy will get a boost from taxpayers using their dollars for high speed rail transportation -- in oppose to gas -- as well as job creation from rail operations. Breaking ground on high speed rail is so positive; it’s almost as if California cannot not choose to do this.

If we were to discuss relatable benefits of high speed rail, let’s think about how fast it would take to get to Los Angeles or San Francisco. According to the New York Times high speed rail “promises to combat global warming while whisking travelers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in less than three hours.” Currently, if you were driving from Fresno, three hours gets you to either San Francisco or parts of Los Angeles. So imagine taking high speed rail from Fresno to San Francisco (or Los Angeles) and how fast that would be. I absolutely believe that the train would become a daily commuter for a lot of Central Valley residents who yearn for opportunities only available in the metropolitan communities.

So California, I give you 2 thumbs. I support you all the way. 

Just one piece of advice: Don’t desert this project. We started this. We need to finish it.

“California Breaks Ground on Bullet Train as Climate,” New York Times, accessed January 16, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/01/06/us/ap-us-california-high-speed-rail.html
“California to Begin Work on Nation's First Bullet Train”, New York Times, accessed January 16, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/01/06/us/ap-us-travel-california-high-speed-rail.html
Image: http://assets.inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2015/01/california-high-speed-rail-breaks-ground.jpg