I am biased on this topic, I have been based in the LAX area since 1981, and I love the area and yes I am all for rail and transportation alternatives, but in the interest of full disclosure I am an investor in the Industrial sector adjacent to LAX., and with that said, a mobile society requires a variety of transportation choices.
There is no question that California needs to invest in more and better transportation. California’s population is expected to grow from 37 million today to 50 million people by 2030, and 60 million by 2050.
There are no cheap options: roadway and airport expansions have a steep price tag, and an environmental cost.
Providing transportation infrastructure for 20 million additional people in California will require significant investment, no matter what. The Brookings Institute reports that 6 million people already fly between the Los Angeles basin and the San Francisco Bay Area each year, making it the second-busiest air corridor in the nation. Official predictions show that traffic on Interstate 5 and California 99 in the Central Valley will double over the next 25 years.
Unless we invest in upgrades both in rail and at LAX, traffic will grow worse and airport delays more frequent. For crowded areas like Los Angeles, building major new highways and runways is challenging, difficult and expensive., but we must figure out a way to get it done.
Although the price tag for high-speed rail is daunting, it is important to add it to our must do list. Let’s move our thinking from reactive to pro-active.
California’s need to invest coincides now with unprecedented opportunities: an extremely low cost for borrowing capital, a construction industry with idle capacity, and federal rail grants already committed.
So, we have to be pro-active in California. We must invest in highways and airport expansions, and high-speed rail. The rail will also reduce harmful air pollution, give travelers an attractive option to avoid crowded freeways, and encourage denser development around stations. Investing in all of them is the way to go., we will create jobs and improve the quality of life for all of us