NEWS RELEASE: California High-Speed Rail Celebrates Earth Day by Launching Carbon Footprint Calculator

April 22, 2022

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In honor of Earth Day, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is launching an interactive carbon footprint calculator online to show the environmental benefits of the nation’s first electrified high-speed rail project.

Website visitors can use the calculator to see their potential carbon emissions savings from traveling by electrified high-speed rail compared to by car and plane on four roundtrips along the planned high-speed rail system:

• San Francisco to Los Angeles
• San Francisco to Anaheim
• San José to Burbank
• San Francisco to Bakersfield

More project segments will be added in the future. The savings of climate change-inducing greenhouse gas emissions for each roundtrip are converted into tangible equivalents, like gallons of gas and pounds of coal saved.

“High-speed rail is delivering a system interconnected with local and regional transit to bring benefits within disadvantaged communities, reduce vehicle travel and pollution, protect resources, and serve in the transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Director of Planning and Sustainability Meg Cederoth. “We are launching the carbon footprint calculator to help future riders visualize the environmental benefits high-speed rail trips will provide to California.”

This new online tool highlights the Authority’s longstanding commitment to sustainability. According to a recent report by the World Health Organization, many large cities along the Authority’s Phase 1 system, including Los Angeles, Bakersfield and Fresno, rank among the highest in terms of amount of ozone pollution in the state. Clean, electrified high-speed rail, while helping to reduce local pollution, is also one of the most energy-efficient mobility options. In construction, the Authority is committed to using sustainable practices such as recycling, clean vehicles and cleaner materials, to deliver the system.

The Authority requires 100% zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) fleets in future infrastructure and construction contracts. Through its Voluntary Emissions Reduction Agreements (VERA) program, the Authority has offset each ton of air pollutant emitted during construction within local air quality districts. To date, the program has resulted in more than 7,100 trees planted in disadvantaged California communities near the future high-speed rail corridor and 2,320 acres preserved for natural habitat and restoration.

For more on the Authority’s sustainability practices visit

The Authority is responsible for planning, designing, and building a 100% renewably powered high-speed rail service between San Francisco and Los Angeles and Anaheim, via the Central Valley. With the system capable of speeds above 200 miles per hour, the trip between San Francisco and Los Angeles will take under three hours.

California high-speed rail is under construction along 119 miles with more than 35 active job sites. To date, more than 7,500 construction jobs have been created since the start of construction.

For more on progress of the nation’s first high-speed rail system visit:

The following link contains recent video, animations, photography, press center resources and latest renderings: 

These files are all available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.


Media Contact

Adam Taslitz (916) 407-9319 (work)  


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The California High-Speed Rail Authority makes every effort to ensure the website and its contents meet mandated ADA requirements as per the California State mandated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA standard. If you are looking for a particular document not located on the California High-Speed Rail Authority website, you may make a request for the document under the Public Records Act through the Public Records Act page. If you have any questions about the website or its contents, please contact the Authority at