06 March 2013

Lynn Schenk Is Right

Lynn Schenk, vice chair of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, caused a stir today when her refusal to vote for the latest Caltrain / HSR memorandum of understanding left plans for the "blended" system stuck in neutral--at least until she is outvoted at the next board meeting.

She contends that the blended system isn't high-speed rail and shouldn't be paid for using HSR bond funds.  And she's right: nowhere else in the world does anyone seriously propose "blending" a new high-speed rail system with commuter rail over such a long distance as the 50 miles between San Francisco and San Jose.  That's a recipe for limited speeds, bunched commuter trains, and cascading delays.  It could rightly be considered a diversion of HSR funds from their intended purpose.

If you want SF to LA in 2 hours and 40 minutes, the simple truth is that blending should be kept to a strict minimum, like this: