Imagine a new project that would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, curb greenhouse gas emissions and reduce traffic, all at the same time. Imagine getting from San Francisco to LA in just 2.5 hours, without the hassle of sitting traffic or dealing with airport security. Now stop imagining, because all that is about to become reality in California, as we begin development of the all-new high-speed rail.
In this new video (see below) from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Bill Bohné, director of the union’s Rail Department, highlights how the plan to build a high-speed rail system in California would be a major boon for our state’s economy. Bohné says this is the right time for a move to high-speed rail:
High-speed rail will change transportation in this country in the 21st century the way the interstate highway system changed it in the 20th century. This couldn’t have come at a better time, especially with this economic downturn.
Projections estimate that high-speed rail would create more than 160,000 construction jobs and an estimated 450,000 long-term jobs in maintenance, operations, supplies, services and related jobs. Top speeds on the line would hit 220 miles per hour, and the rail would significantly lessen the load on the state’s roads and airports.
In January, President Obama announced that California will receive $2.25 billion in federal funds to help set up a high-speed line between San Diego and Sacramento by 2026.
California Labor Federation’s Art Pulaski:
While the federal funding is a major boost to California’s high-speed rail project, it’s important to identify ongoing funding sources to support construction, operation and maintenance. The California Labor Federation, in conjunction with a number of California unions and allies, fought hard to help secure these federal funds for the state. Together, we stand ready to work with state and federal officials to ensure that high-speed rail’s promise becomes a reality.