Free Essay On California State Budget Analysis
The California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) of the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) has long established its intent to ease transportation within California through the use of high-speed railways to help ease major state traffic corridors and provide rapid ways for transporting people and goods to different places within the state, as in the case of people travelling between the major conurbations of San Francisco in northern California and Los Angeles in southern California, among many others (“2015 Governor’s Budget Summary,” 2015). To enable the CHSRA to construct high-speed railways within California, Proposition 1A, or the “Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century,” provides it with bond allocations amounting to $9.95 billion. Proceeds from bond allocation worth $950 million are designated as additional capital for building commuter railways within cities traversed by the high-speed railways (SPUR, 2008).
Issues on Proposition 1A
Several issues that favor Proposition 1A emphasize on the instrumentality of the CHSRA in easing the transportation woes of California through the construction of high-speed railways, which has been described by SPUR (2008) as a “well planned and long overdue” project. Connecting the major conurbations of San Francisco and Los Angeles stands as the most compelling issue raised in favor of Proposition 1A. Currently, both San Francisco and Los Angeles are connected either by road or air travel – a matter that deeply affects the competitiveness of the economy of California given the costly and time-consuming nature of those transportation modes (SPUR, 2008). Environmental concerns also form part of the issues supporting Proposition 1A, given the fact that the congestion of road and air corridors and reliance on fossil fuels typical in road and air transportation would both be reduced by the use of high-speed railways (SPUR, 2008). Yet, the possibility that the proposed travel time promised to voters will not be met once the high-speed railways are constructed is an issue challenging the viability of Proposition 1A (The Economist, 2014). Nonetheless, such does not outweigh the benefits presented by the issues supporting Proposition 1A. Making travel within California much more convenient and environment-friendly is, after all, very helpful to the state economy (“2015 California’s Five-Year Infrastructure Plan,” 2015).
Pros and Cons of Funding Proposition 1A
Funding Proposition 1A presents the ultimate benefit of enabling the CHSRA to construct high-speed railways to make transportation easier and greener within California. High-speed railways, with their own right-of-way, can transport people to different points in California under less costs and time spent, henceforth giving them a much more convenient options apart from road and air travel, both of which are known for being more costly and time-consuming (SPUR, 2008). Yet, Proposition 1A may see increasing costs as the largest setback to its viability, as haphazard construction practices and unpredictable downturns in the state economy threaten to turn the high-speed railways project into a white elephant, particularly with the issue over the failure to fulfill the promised two hours and forty minutes travel time between San Francisco and Los Angeles (The Economist, 2014).
Impact of Proposition 1A
Through bonds appropriated by Proposition 1A, the CHSRA will be able to resolve one of the long-standing issues people in California had to bear with – ease in transportation. People would no longer have to limit themselves to road and air travel if they wish to travel to one point in California to another, considering the vast land area of the state. The economy of California also stands to develop vastly through interconnectivity provided by high-speed railways. Far-flung areas in California would no longer be isolated from major conurbations such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, while capital from bond proceeds also stands to strengthen their exposure to development mainly through the construction of commuter railways. Moreover, one must also consider the fact that the high-speed railway also stand to make California a greener state, as it seeks to lessen emissions coming from the consumption of fossil fuels emanating from road and air travel. Although considerable business interests reliant on road and air travel may be affected in the long term, it also pays to provide environmental balance by promoting railway transportation as a viable commuting option for people in California so as to promote greater sustainability in the long run (“2015 California’s Five-Year Infrastructure Plan,” 2015).
Effect of Proposition 1A for the Next Five to Ten Years
Congestion and pollution are two of the largest problems characterizing the state of transportation and the environment in California. Given such a problem, there is an understanding that the CHSRA will be able to reduce congestion and pollution in California with Proposition 1A in place to provide bond allocations for high-speed railway construction. Notwithstanding legal tussles over relatively peculiar matters such as the possibility that travel time between San Francisco and Los Angeles might take longer than expected, the construction of the high-speed railways through funding coming from Proposition 1A brings forth a positive future for the economy of California. Lesser congestion in road and air travel through the availability of high-speed railways as an option would mean greater efficiency in transportation, while lesser consumption of fossil fuels would make California a greener state that is much capable of promoting greater sustainability. In five to ten years, stronger economic development in California, backed with reduced congestion and pollution through high-speed railways built by the CHSRA, stands as the ultimate effect of Proposition 1A (“2015 California’s Five-Year Infrastructure Plan,” 2015).
Proposition 1A - High Speed Rail. (2008, November 1). SPUR: Ideas and Action for a Better City. Retrieved from http://www.spur.org/publications/voter-guide/2008-11-01/proposition-1a-high-speed-rail
Tripousis, B., and Lipkin, B. (2014, May 20). What’s happening with California’s high-speed rail system? SPUR: Ideas and Action for a Better City. Retrieved from http://www.spur.org/blog/2014-05-20/what-s-happening-california-s-high-speed-rail-system
Wobbling on its tracks. (2014, April 1). The Economist. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2014/04/california-high-speed-rail