Gov. Jerry Brown Reiterates Strong Support for High Speed Rail

August 18, 2011 - Governor Jerry Brown, in a meeting this week with the Fresno Bee editorial board and in a speech to community leaders, strongly reiterated his support for building a high speed rail system from the Bay Area to Southern California through the Central Valley. 

Brown told the board that although the nation is in a period of “massive retrenchment,” he believes the rail system is necessary for California’s growth.  “I would like to be part of the group that gets America to think big again,” the Governor said. 

He added that he has been unswayed by criticism of the project, especially its cost, by conservatives and the news media, stating that the dollar amount is not excessive when compared to the state’s increased economic productivity over the life of the project.  That’s why the state needs “to look to the future instead of the past,” he said.  The new rail system will allow California to keep pace with a league of “important countries that are investing in high speed rail,” including Germany, England, France, Japan and others, he said.

Construction of the system will create 160,000 new construction jobs, and 450,000 new permanent jobs.  It will increase mobility, add transportation capacity, relieve traffic congestion, reduce emissions and improve air quality.

The Bee reported that Brown’s comments in support of high speed rail brought cheers from his Fresno audience.  

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