California high-speed rail: moving too fast?

Commuter+Shirley+Trevino+takes+Caltrain+home+from+a+long+day+of+work.+

Lily Dodd

Commuter Shirley Trevino takes Caltrain home from a long day of work.

You’re craving a slice of San Francisco sourdough, but you live in Los Angeles. You’ve been invited to a Malibu wedding, but you are staying in San Francisco. Unless you’re willing to commit to a five-hour drive in unreliable traffic, or an expensive plane ticket, it is very difficult to cross the state of California. In 2029, all this could change. Plans for a high-speed-rail system that will transport commuters from San Francisco to Los Angeles and vice-versa in under three hours are now a reality. But not everyone supports high-speed rail and the up to $98 billion price tag that comes with it. We asked Caltrain commuters for their take on this high-stakes project, which could one day span all the way from Sacramento to San Diego. 

Shirley Trevino

Age 64

Government Employee

Interviewed on the 4:09 p.m. Southbound Train

What is your opinion on high-speed rail? How would it affect your commute?

I totally agree with it. I’ve been commuting for 13 years. When I first started commuting I met a woman from Japan who said for the U.S. to be so on top of technology, we were backwards in transport. I’d love to get from Gilroy to San Francisco in less than an hour. To people who say the need isn’t there, I say, “Drive 101 in the morning.”

 

Cheri Barkley

Age 53

PG&E employee?

Interviewed on the 4:09 p.m. Southbound Train

What is your opinion on high-speed rail? How would it affect your commute?

If it was for me individually, yes (I would support high-speed rail). I’m moving to the Central Valley, and I know it would affect the agricultural folks. For California, it’s a great thing, but you have to look at who it affects.

 

Nilay Sheih

Age 24

Analyst at Health Advances

On the 6:07 a.m. Northbound Train

What is your opinion on high-speed rail? How would it affect your commute?

I’m for high-speed rail. It would reduce traffic on the 405. Also, there’s a possible ocean view.