gmhTODAY 15 gmhToday July Aug 2017 - Page 17

operation. Yet early in the project, the state Legislative Analyst’s Office questioned its ridership, fare structure and revenue projections, casting doubt on High-Speed Rail’s ability to operate without government subsidies. In January 2017, the Federal Railroad Administration criticized the Authority for delays and cost overruns. And in June, its CEO stepped down. Now more than ever, CHSRA needs strong leadership and reliable funding. Prop 1A specified $950,000 to go toward connector projects. Some of those funds have been allocated to the Caltrain Peninsula Electrification Project. In May, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chou came through with $100 million of $508 million in federal funds committed to that project. This was welcome news since Caltrain’s shift to an electrified rail system is a critical precursor to the development of high-speed rail in the San Francisco to San José Corridor. Meanwhile, California’s own private sector investors have been mum. Where are Apple, Google, Tesla and Intel when we need them? Their workers stand to benefit greatly from a high-speed rail system that will free them from Silicon Valley gridlock. Maybe they’re distracted by Elon Musk’s Hyperloop, with its giant tubes and 700 mph automated transport pods; or Waymo’s new fleet of self-driving Pacifica hybrids. “I’m sure the CHSRA Board would be more than happy to talk to Google,” Tripousis said. “It’s more likely that traditional players; rail operators, sovereign entities like China, Japan, and Spain, will show interest in helping us complete the system, and being a partner in its operation. We’re required by law to deliver the California High-Speed Rail and ensure it can operate without reliance on public subsidies.” We have to consider that future generations may be forced to issue additional debt to help pay for rail system operations and maintenance. We have to ask ourselves, at what level is California’s debt beyond what our state and local governments can afford to service? Particularly if California’s bond rating weakens and interest rates rise in the years ahead, or if we slip into another recession. When asked how passengers are likely to experience California’s High-Speed Rail, Tripousis said, “As anyone who’s ridden a high-speed train internationally knows, it’s one of the most pleasant travel experiences you’ll ever have. It’s an exceedingly fast but incredibly smooth and comfortable ride. You can stretch your legs, get up, walk around the cabin, and head off to the dining car for a meal. You’ll see the California countryside in a way that you can’t when you’re driving or fl ying. And of course there’s access to Wifi to study or work productively during the ride. “High-Speed Rail will shrink the state in a way that will serve Californians as never before. The Central Valley will become connected to economic centers in the Bay Area. And Bay Area companies can locate satellite offices i ѡ ɅY)ٕхѥ䁡́ѡչѼɽٕٔͥ䁥́丁 )ѥѡѡIє䁍ɥȰݔЁѡݹѽݹ́5ɍ) ͙ɕ͹ɕєЁеѼЁɅٕݡ)ٕͥѥ̸!MÍхЁȁѡٕ)хѥɕ́Ѽɕѕ́ɍѽɥʹ]ԁɽٔ)ͽձɅ䰁ѠѼͽѠЁѼݕаɽ́)хє ɹӊéȸ+qQɽMхѥɕ́ɕЁѕѥ́ɕՈȁɍ)ɥѽɥʹȁ5ɝ!M5ѥ!ѕȰ ɽ٥M)5ѕɕ丁Aݥɥ͕܁܁չѥ́ѼɅٕѡхє)ɕ͕Ёѡ͕ٕ͔́ӊéɔͥѡэ́ͱ)ѡɥ٥Ȼt))U1dUUMP) !MIAɽЁUѕIЀ)ȹؽ̽нͥ}̼) !MII͡IٕՔɕ)ȹؽ̽нͥ|)̼} ͥ}A}Iͥ|)IٕՕ}ɕй) !MI%ѕɅѥٔY)̰M)Lɽ)ȹؽAɽɅ̽Mхѕݥ}I|)5ɹѥAɽ}Mѥ̽ͅ)|)ɍѵ) !MIIЁ]Aɽ)ͥхݥѠAɽɅͅ)եͥѥ)ܹȹؽ̽ɽɅ̽ɥمѕ|)ɽI=]}Aɽ|й)Mх%ɵ1) 䁽5ɝ!ɝ)ؼȽ!MI) 䁽ɽ䰁ɽ塥Ʌɜ)Mф Ʉ չ䁙ٕȁ٥͍)عɜͥѕ̽ɵ̽յ̼)!MI}ٕ}5}͵)]́Ѽ хЁ !MI)QAMM9Hɥ)%1I=d5=I8!%10M85IQ%8) !MI)ɕͽɍ)=)ȹ؀Ʌ)եȹՍѥѕ̤)!Յѕ̀MɅѼ(ؤд)ȹ)-ɥф)͕ ɐMɕх)ɑȹ)9 I=M)) Qɥ̰ͥɕѽ(ऀܴ)ѡɸɹȹ)M)Ѽ5ɍAɽЁMѥ)-ɱ䰁5(Դ)ͅ)}ɍȹ)MѼɕٔѥѥ)ɵѥЁѡ !MI)ѽ乍(