Opinion » Letters

The high-speed rail is still worth the money


We received a mailer trashing the proposed high-speed rail system for California. Funded by the Republican Caucus (lookup ASMRC on the internet), the piece bore Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham's (R-San Luis Obispo) name. The same piece was probably sent out under the name of every Republican candidate for the Assembly in California (this is speculation).

The argument set forth in the piece bears scrutiny. It boils down to this: Ten years have passed since voters chose to develop a high speed rail system, but since the projected cost has increased and the system is still not in place the whole thing should be junked.

Thank heavens these people weren't evaluating the American space program back in the '60s. Indeed, much the same could be said of California's freeway system. It's not working. It's been a lot longer than 10 years. And the cost? Spectacular.

Most interesting and subtle was the statement that we were "promised an efficient, new mode of transportation" as if someone had misled us. No, actually, we just voted for such a system. There's no them and us. Just us. It's too bad, Assemblymember Cunningham, that it's going to be expensive. It's too bad that it's taking a lot of time. But it will be an efficient and new mode of transportation and simply shutting it down as you propose in order to build more freeways seems like a foolish waste and an ostrich-like approach to realities that aren't going away.

Steve Belasco

San Luis Obispo

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