High-speed rail support declines among California voters

AP file photo

AP file photo

Nearly two-thirds of Californians think the high-speed rail project in the state should go back before voters for approval, according to a recent poll survey.

In 2008, state voters passed a $9.95 billion bond measure to pay for California’s high-speed rail project. However, the estimated cost of the project has soared since then—from $33 billion to $98 billion.

With those developments taken in mind, 64 percent of respondents in a recent Field Poll said that the bond measure should go back before voters. Additionally, 59 percent of those surveyed said that they would not vote for the bond measure if given the chance. Just 31 percent of voters said they would approve the project if they could vote on it again.

Rachel Wall, spokeswoman for the California High Speed Rail Authority, which is overseeing the project, released this statement in response to the Field Poll:

“High-speed rail will use more than $3 billion in federal aid to create 100,000 jobs and give California the transportation infrastructure it needs to compete in the 21st century. To back pedal on this project means we reject billions in stimulus funds, lose 100,000 new jobs and, ultimately, pay tens of billions more for congested highways in the long run. The uncertain economy may give some voters pause, but this kind of infrastructure investment and job creation is exactly what we need at this time and we will be making that case to Californians across the state who voted to start this project in 2008.”

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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