Poll: Fewer Than Half of Californians Support High-Speed Rail

Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 06:33 PM

A map of the planned high-speed rail system in California (photo by flickr user Richard Masoner)

Back in 2008, California voters approved a $10 billion bond to plan and build a high-speed rail system across the state. Four years later, support for the high-speed rail has waned. Now that the estimated cost is $68 billion, a recent survey by the Public Policy Institute of California shows that only 43 percent of likely voters support the project.

That number hasn’t changed since the last time the survey was conducted, about a year ago. When asked if they would support a high-speed rail if the cost was lower, support jumps to 55 percent. But the cost has gone down since the last survey, from $100 billion to $68 billion. It’s unclear what number would tip the public back in favor of the system, but they haven’t reached it yet.

At the same time, a majority of Californians (59 percent) think a high-speed rail system is important to the state “quality of life and economic vitality.”

Meanwhile, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has continued to win or settle its legal battles with cities across California. The Authority plans to move forward with construction this summer. The state must spend its $2.35 billion of federal funding on the project before 2017.


News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [1]

Claude from El Cajon

While the results of a poll can be strongly influenced by the wording of the question, in this case I'm not surprised by the results. The opponents have been in full Obama mode since losing the election.
Not only have they tried to get the courts to overturn the will of the people, they've kept the opposition campaign going full bore. With only one side making their case it's inevitable that the support would decline for this project.
But the people still favor a high speed rail project by 55%. If the Republican activists had integrity they wouldn't try to get the courts to overturn the will of the people. They would have moved in and seen to it that the project was done efficiently and effectively to give the voters the best return on the project.

Jul. 13 2013 12:11 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.