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The California High-Speed Rail Authority, Case Study Example

Pages: 4

Words: 991

Case Study

The California High-Speed Rail Authority, in January 2010, was highly waiting to hear the approval for 4.7billion dollars in the federal stimulus funding in order to improve the design, engineering and the construction of California’s proposed high-speed rail system by the Obama Administration. Many in the board and staff thought there would be the building of the 800-mile high-speed rail corridor that connects all the state’s capital cities. The California voters had even approved proposition 1A that authorize the state to issue $9.95 billion in bonds. The proposal to build the California rail was the most advanced in its planning process, and hence, had the chance to create 130, 000 construction related jobs. The authority, which seemed well positioned to capitalize on the Obama administration, had supporters outside California to even, many Africans who had to wonder why the U.S was quite behind other countries when it came to the advancement of high-speed rail services. The train proposed was capable of travelling at the least of 150mph (Albalate & Bel, 2012).

The authority studied the possible routes alignments for the 800milessystem. They categorized the alignments into phases, in which case the alignments required the extensive environmental review and community outreach. Some routes, however, had the fear of having the political pressures, in which case it may damage the agricultural areas and wetlands, and created the conditions for the suburban sprawl by bringing the rural places in to the central valley within the expedient commuting distance of the city employment centers.

The authority ridership forecasts had also to distinguish two various markets, in which case one is for the interregional or long-distance trips of over 200miles and  the intra-regional of less than 100 miles. The original 2000 business plan that the authority issued contained a ridership and revenue forecast by Charles River Associates, which estimated that, in 2020, the full CAHSR system will capture 32b million interregional train trips, including an additional 10million trips for intra-regional trips. Te shorter trips will undertake the daily intra-regional commuting to the central business districts of in San Diego, San Francisco among others. The interregional markets had t account for less than four-fifths of the projected passengers, but it had over nine-tenths of the revenue (Albalate & Bel, 2012).

In determining the mode split for HSR, the authorities had to make certain assumptions about the relative competitiveness of the air and the auto travel with high-speed rail that is based on the evolution of California’s transportation networks. The capacity of highway, transit and air is not predictable to keep rapidity with the expected amplify in the trip making, in which case it results to increase in driving times within and between the regions. It will take long to travel within and through principal urban areas during the peak period. The airplanes and trains will probably be overcrowded, and air travels time will be slow plus the fact that the airport congestion will grow.

The ridership estimates for the HSR system had to assume that phase I would be operational by 2020. The full 800-mile system, including that in phase II will be complete and initiate revenue by the start of 2026. The remainder of the HSR’s estimated benefits accrued to air and auto travelers in the form of less air pollution, fewer fatalities and accidences and the reduced delays. High-speed rail will lower the number of intercity automobile passengers on California highways by up to 70million annually. The combination also of the constant highway capacity and the reduced travel demand through auto will result to reduction of the vehicle hours travelled. Therefore, high-speed system rail will be beneficial as it generates 130, 000 jobs (Albalate & Bel, 2012).

The authority and the California congressional delegation ought to task themselves in lobbying for California’s share of stimulus money in order to finance the project. The federal should also incorporate their support including the northeast corridor and an Illinois based system connecting the Chicago with numerous Midwest cities.

Reference:

Albalate, D., & Bel, Q. G. (2012). The economics and politics of high-speed rail: Lessons from Experiences abroad. Lanham, Md: Lexington Books

Where is The Case Now?

Significant changes to The California High-Speed Rail Authority have been made. On September 27th, 2012, the project applauded the release of the Prop1A funds for local rail improvements.  On October 12th, 2012, Robert Balgenorth steps down from High Speed Rail Authority, and the following week Amtrak’s Chief Engineer Joined the project. Significant changes to the original draft plan were also made, making the 2012 revised business plan embody an implementation strategy that is projected to deliver greater value and broader benefits to the project overall.  The most recent news, posted on December 6th, related to the project was that the authority boards adopted a hiring policy for staffing the project as well as those staffed for working operations.

Business Plan

The overall passenger rail system will be significantly better because of two commitments in the new updated 2012 plan. The first commitment noted in the plan is to build an Operating Section (IOS) of high speed rail, instead of just an initial construction segment which was originally the plan. Another change to the plan was to enhance benefits through the use of a blended approach, By leveraging new infrastructure and systems with existing and upgraded systems, taxpayers will benefit from greater cost efficiency and more effective use of state investments dollars (California High-Speed Rail Authority, 2012).

Ridership Updated and Projection

The following chart represents the current ridership projections as of 2012. As there were potential projections based on down times and uptimes in the economy, three main possibilities were estimated, between low, medium, and high probability.

(California High-Speed Rail Authority, 2012)

Revenue Projection

The following is a chart of the projected revenue growth that was predicted for the project as of 2012. As the chart shows by the year 2060, it is estimated the project will earn 10 billion dollars in revenue.

(California High-Speed Rail Authority, 2012)

Reference

California High-Speed Rail Authority. (2012). Retrieved from California High-Speed Rail Authority website: http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/assets/0/152/431/0219e13b-04df-46b0-af57-f4b996cc9172.pdf

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