There is a national effort underway to see that High Speed Rail becomes a reality in America. High-speed rail has been moving passengers at speeds of up to 220 mph in other countries around the world since 1964, when it was inaugurated in Japan almost 50 years ago. France inaugurated its high speed rail system in 1981, and other countries in Europe and Asia have followed.
Now, we're fighting to make high speed rail a reality in America, starting in California, and you can help.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) recently launched StandUpForTrains.org. This site allows California residents to send an email in support of HSR to their State Senator and Assemblymember. This is critical, given the Assembly and State Senate will soon vote on the appropriation of $2.3 billion in rail bonds to begin construction of the first phase by the end of the year.
Additionally, Stand Up for Trains provides a link for non-California residents to reach out to their members and friends in California to do the same.
HSR is pragmatic and fiscally conservative because it's a smart investment in the nation's future. HSR creates millions of jobs, revives our manufacturing sector, stimulates real estate development, and sets up America to save energy, money, and time – year after year. It delivers a fast and reliable transportation option, it protects the nation from energy price spikes, and increases national security by reducing our dependency on foreign oil.
Massive congestion is choking our major metropolitan areas, costing Americans $110 billion a year in lost productivity and wasted fuel. Los Angeles and San Francisco airports are at capacity. We must invest in a passenger rail alternative. The longer we wait, the less livable our cities will become and the more expensive the alternatives will be. The French and Japanese proved decades ago that the concept can succeed.
High-speed rail is successful and profitable everywhere else in the world, and it will work here. That's why today, the California High Speed Rail Authority approved the revised HSR Business Plan. Now we begin the campaign for the California State Assembly and Senate to approve funding.
California is leading the way for the rest of the country to develop high-speed rail by finding solutions to the many challenges faced in this kind of process. Rail projects throughout the country have already benefited from California's leadership. They will benefit even more when the project begins construction. Having the California Legislature vote “Yes” will be a major breakthrough for California – and for the whole country.
That is why it is so important that you get your friends in California to show their support, so that someday we can all have high-speed rail.
Please visit StandUpForTrains.org to get started and help us make high-speed rail a reality!