California High Speed Rail

When we often think about the topic of alternative energy, what comes to mind is a number of different ideas. These include: renewable energy sources (such as hydrogen, ethanol, wind, and solar), improvements in existing technologies (such as the gasoline powered automobile and obtaining better fuel efficiency with that particular model) and the creation of new technologies (ie. hydrogen car and electric powered car). These are all great things and all help to contribute to becoming more energy independent, however one last thing is missing from the above list. Public Transportation.

It is true that this last piece is often overlooked when considering the above, but it is important to note that it plays just as much of a role as would the creation of a new fuel. The true beauty behind public transportation is that depending on which mode is being traveled with, tens if not hundreds of other passengers are also being carried at any given time period. This reduces the number of automobiles on the road, and thus leads to improvements in air quality due to reduced pollution levels.  

Public transportation is especially important in states with large populations such as California, which has approximately 35 million residents and is expected to grow to nearly 50 million within the next few decades. This factor along with California’s committance to reducing it’s green-house gas emissions has led politicians to bring forth the idea of implementing a high speed rail system.

I’m certain that some of our visitors here have previously heard about the California High Speed Rail System, most likely because of its unprecedented price tag (which is currently estimated to be around $50 billion dollars). Nonetheless, I truly believe this project is fascinating and worthwhile. I’m going to leave out most of the details because I think everyone should check it out for themselves at California High Speed Rail, but I will mention some of the benefits that are related to’s aim. These include: reduction of nearly 13 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year (which is roughly equivalent to taking  nearly 1 million vehichles off the road), and lowering our dependence on foreign oil by consuming 12 million barrels of oil less each year.

Certainly there are alot more benefits that go beyond these two things. I ask that all go and please check out the site in the link above for more information. I promise it will be worth your time. Thanks -Jay


*Photo and information courtesy of the California High Speed Rail website.

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