gmhTODAY 21 gmhToday Aug Sept 2018 - Page 63

RAIL FARES and RIDERSHIP In the 2018 HSR Business Plan, the Authority publishes fare numbers, but Lipkin issued a caveat, saying, “We haven’t made decisions yet. We brought Deutschebahn on as an early operator to advise us and develop early service.” He added that the fare structure “will look somewhat like an airline system,” as in higher last- minute fares versus lower early- bird fares. In the 2018 plan, the fare from San Francisco to Gilroy, calculated in 2017 dollars, is $26; from San Jose to Gilroy it’s $20; and from San Francisco, San Jose or Gilroy to Anaheim it’s $93. This rate will continue to be adjusted upward over time. Riders will also be paying bus and/or parking fees. HSR plans call for 12 or more trains per day from San Francisco to Bakersfield. Imagine that once every hour, people driving east/west on cross streets in South County will be stopped in traffic while trains speed by. The Authority’s 2018 plan estimates a 90 percent chance that annual ridership on the San Francisco to Bakersfield line will be 8.3 million or more, and will generate annual revenue of $517 million, in 2029 (expected to be its first year in operation). WHAT’S SHAKING? Early this year, the Authority engaged consultants to conduct geotechnical seismic surveys. A moving train vibrates up and down, creating a surface wave in front of it. In some cases the supporting soil in the embankment may not be strong enough to resist it. According to Randy Anderson, Engineering Manager with the HSR Authority, in those cases “we will potentially need to mitigate,” which might require excavation and deeper embankments. “It’s kind of a new area and it’s very important for high-speed trains.” Governor Brown has been a tireless and powerful advocate of the High- Speed Rail. With his term of office nearly at an end, we’re left holding our breath as the high-speed rail project becomes a proverbial political football in upcoming election races. Learn more at hsr.ca.gov. “Let’s build Electrified Caltrain with convenient schedules and weekend services. Trains with positive track control and early warning in case of earthquakes. Trains that are quiet and efficient and people will want to ride!” Swanee Edwards, Community Activist A special presentation hosted by the Government Relations Committee (GRC) took place in June. More than 100 concerned citizens and committee members gathered at Old City Hall Restaurant in Gilroy to hear updates on the progress of the California High Speed Rail project. Presenters were various key players within the High Speed Rail Authority and employees associated with the Merced to San Jose link. Several of the attendees had specific questions relative to property values, acquisition of property, compensation and timelines for completion. Boris Lipkin, Director HSRA, Northern California “I’m optimistic that the Authority has started negotiating with Union Pacific Railroad to add electrified lines from San Jose to Gilroy. It’s a step in the right direction. I’m not convinced that the State will have the ability to push a high-speed rail through Pacheco Pass.