The high-speed rail through California’s Central Valley that’s been dubbed the “bullet train.” The bullet train will allow commuters to take a 2 hour and 40 minute ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles at speeds of up to 220 mph and will offer many benefits for residents as well as the environment.
The final project will span over 800 miles of train track and utilize 24 stations. Each day, it will eliminate 10 million miles of travel as well as 180 flights. The bullet train will take cars off the roadways, especially in traffic-ridden areas such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, which will reduce the number of vehicle accidents.
It is expected to reduce carbon emissions by up to 40 percent by 2030. This project will also provide a much-needed boost to California’s infrastructure. California’s population continues to expand placing unsustainable strain on the state’s roadways and airports.
Despite its many advantages, the bullet train has faced opposition along the way. It was approved by voters in 2008. It was supposed to be completed by September 30, 2017. However, the project is behind schedule and over budget. Anticipated completion date for Phase 1 is 2025, Phase II is to be completed in 2029. Estimated project cost is $64 billion, a huge increase from initial cost estimate of $40 billion.
Lawsuits & Delay
Many opponents of the bullet train project believe that the project violates provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act. To date, six lawsuits have already been filed challenging continuation of the project. Continued litigation has caused numerous, unforeseen delays.Current Status of California’s Bullet Train Project
Construction has already begun, with crews working on 119 miles of track near Fresno area. The public continues to widely support the project according to a May 2016 study which showed that 63 percent of Californians still considered the bullet train “important” for the “future quality of life and economic vitality of California.”