While pre-construction activities also progress on the state high-speed rail line, a new survey revealed that California voters continue to sour on the project. Just 43% of voters support the project today, compared to 54% against it, according to the survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California. (For all adults, the split is at 48% support, 50% oppose.) This comes on the heels of efforts by Congressmembers to block future federal funding for the project. However, the CAHSR Blog comes to a different conclusion and notes that the public can support the project more if costs are reined in.
However, one bit of news that largely went unreported was a UCLA study on the effects of HSR on second-tier cities. Citing examples from China, the report concluded that these smaller cities can benefit from HSR since they can serve as growth centers that can supplement already crowded cities. Applying the results to California, researchers believe cities like Fresno and Bakersfield, the latter which has grown apprehensive against the project in recent months, stand to gain greatly by having access to markets and opportunities in bigger cities.