YES on Proposition 1A

    WHAT IT WOULD DO: Allow the state to sell $9.95 billion in bonds for a high-speed rail, running from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

    An image of sleek, high-tech bullet trains zipping passengers across the length of the state may seem hard to fathom for Californians used to plopping down in their gas-guzzling SUVs and sitting in traffic gridlock on choked freeways for hours on most weekdays — but Proposition 1A makes the novel idea excitingly realistic and crucial to the well-being of the state’s future.

    Projections indicate that the proposed rail line would make traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles possible in less than three hours for a cost of about $55. But aside from dramatically improving the flow of people across our notoriously crowded state — by up to 117 million riders annually — the measure would also lead to reduced greenhouse-gas emissions as a direct result of less cars on the roadways, not to mention that the rail line itself would produce zero emissions. And although the estimated $40 billion cost seems enormous, the measure asks California taxpayers to only foot about 25 percent of the total bill, with the rest of the money coming from federal and private sources.

    Opponents claim that California cannot afford to invest so much money on such a lofty project during an economic crisis, but the rail line would create hundreds of thousands of jobs, a major step toward economic recovery. With such visionary goals for the state, voters would be unwise to reject the measure. Vote yes on Proposition 1A.

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