According to a new study by UC Irvine, the Los Angeles-Orange County area would benefit from the creation of 127,000 permanent jobs by 2035 through the construction of high speed rail in the region. The study was conducted by UCI’s Institute for Transportation Studies and was presented before 100 elected officials, business leaders, transportation experts and academics and was partly sponsored by the by the Orange County Transportation Assn. Reportedly incomes would increase by $701 million for workers in the area. The LA Times reports:
“Plans call for one of the initial phases to be built between Los Angeles and Anaheim. During construction, the report states, the Anaheim to Los Angeles segment would provide more than $700 million in wages for workers who would have otherwise been unemployed. The study estimates that the project would create more than 57,000 fulltime construction jobs that would last a year. By 2035, the reports states, the enhanced transportation network and increased mobility created by high-speed rail would attract more than 127,000 permanent jobs to the region.”
However, the study’s findings were based on a more costly approach that would not involve sharing existing tracks between L.A. and Anaheim. Thus, elevated structures would have to be built and existing homes and businesses would have to be condemned. Another focus of the study was the economic benefits that high-speed rail could bring to the state, namely preventing the release of about half a billion pounds of greenhouse gases each year. The study notes that the transportation system could spearhead the expanding green economy by providing an alternative to cars. You can read more here.