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Benefits and Perils of the Bay Area High Speed Rail

sanjosehighspeedrailterminal.jpg

On November 5, 2008 California voters approved Proposition 1A (the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act) to establish a clean, efficient high-speed train service linking Southern California, the Sacramento San Joaquin Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Click>here for the California High Speed Rail Authority proposed routes and some interesting trip visualizations.  The graphic above is what the San Jose terminal might look like.  It is proposed that the 48 miles between San Francisco and San Jose would cost $10 and only take 30 minutes.  The train will go south to Gilroy and then turn east through Pacheco Pass to connect with the central valley line that connects all the way to San Diego.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) is trying to fast-track the project and last week approved a number of shovel-ready projects in the hope of qualifying for Federal stimulus funding.

Click>here for the San Francisco to San Jose High-Speed Train Project-Level EIR/EIS, which outlines the 2009-2012 timeline for Stakeholder Outreach and Technical Working Groups (TWG) meetings starting this May.

Needless to say, the specific location of stops between San Francisco and San Jose and whether the rails are elevation above ground or buried is creating some controversy in Redwood City and Palo Alto.  Although there is still uncertainty about specifics, this will undoubtedly affect adjacent real estate values and a PRDS disclosure has been drafted. 

Precicesly what impact, if any, the proposed high-speed rail transportatinon system will have on any given property us unknown either before, during or after construction. The construction and/or use of the transportation system may affect people differently. 

It is anticipated that construction is likely to begin as early as 2011.