Football season may be over, but supporters and opponents of High Speed Rail seem to be getting a “kick” out of debating this new political football. The jobs for the Valley and “green” benefits of HSR have been extensively touted, but the bottom line seems to be: how much will it really cost and how many people will ride it?
North Valley Congressman Jeff Denham believes HSR is far from ready to begin construction next year and the costs are growing. He’s concerned we’re going to have a train to nowhere. The Congressman, along with fellow Valley Republicans Devin Nunes of Tulare, and Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, authored a bill to allow state leaders to redirect nearly $3 billion in federal high speed rail funding to cover the costs of rebuilding and expanding Highway 99 from Sacramento to Bakersfield. They see the switch as a way to improve safety on the heavily traveled roadway and the quality of the Valley’s air as well as putting a paycheck back in unemployed people’s hands sooner.