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California's High Speed Rail Dream

So what exactly is California doing with that $2 billion, and who's making sure it won't be wasted on so many miles of track to nowhere? The money may be spent on upgrading existing tracks between San Francisco and San Jose or between Los Angeles and Anaheim. The upgrades could include electrifying the rails to eliminate slower, dirtier diesel engines, straightening the tracks to increase speed, or building tunnels or bridges for road crossings, which can raise speeds and also improve safety. These improvements would benefit either high-speed or existing lines. "That's certainly dual use," said SAMER MADANAT, director of the Institute for Transportation Studies at the University of California Berkeley. Madanat also suggested the money could be used to better connect city transit systems with the regional ones, a signature feature of Europe's public transport system that helps make it successful and one generally lacking in the United States. 

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