Highlights from Chapter 1:

Investment in Clean Transportation

California is at the forefront of addressing climate change, and high-speed rail is leading the nation toward a faster, cleaner, more sustainable transportation future. The beginning of California’s transformation to clean, fast and efficient high-speed rail is happening now, with 119 miles of high-speed rail infrastructure currently under construction in the Central Valley. Electrified high-speed rail is critical to the state’s success in achieving its progressive climate policies to develop clean energy, curb air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment. Our goal is to continue to spur continued economic prosperity and greater economic opportunity for all Californians as we transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future.


YouTube - HSR: A Clean, Connected California

Economic Impact of High-Speed Rail Investments

JOB-YEARS OF EMPLOYMENT  54,300 - 60,400

LABOR INCOME  $3.9B - $4.4B

ECONOMIC  OUTPUT $10.5B - $11.4B

July 2006 – June 2020

Key Facts

  • More than $7.2 billion has been invested in planning and building high-speed rail with 97% of that investment going to California firms and workers
  • High-speed rail is an economic engine creating jobs and stimulating local and regional economies, providing between 54,300 to 60,400 job-years of employment
  • Planning and construction is creating economic opportunities throughout the state, employing more than 600 small businesses and 5,500 construction workers dispatched to date
  • High-speed rail is a wise investment when compared to expanding roads and airports
  • Over time, the average annual greenhouse gas emissions savings from high-speed rail is equivalent to taking 400,000 cars off the road each year
  • High-speed rail trains will be powered by 100-percent renewable energy
  • In December 2020, the Authority received an Envision Platinum rating from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, the largest transportation infrastructure project to win the award to date

Cost of Providing High-Speed Rail Compared to Highway and Airport Capacity

Cost of providing HSR compared to Highway and Airport Capacity

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This chart shows the cost of building Phase 1 of California’s high-speed rail compared to the equivalent cost to build out highways and airports with equivalent passenger carrying capacity. California would need to construct approximately 4,200 highway lane-miles, add 91 airport gates and build two new airport runways to provide capacity equivalent to the Los Angeles/Anaheim to San Francisco high-speed rail system. The cost range for highway/airport equivalent capacity is $122 B – $199 B, compared to an estimate of $63 B – $98 B for high-speed rail.

This robust, third-party review of sustainability performance against 64 different issue areas illustrates how the California High-Speed Rail Authority is delivering on its commitment to provide current and future generations a system that protects and restores social, environmental and economic sustainability in its delivery and on into operation.

Melissa Peneycad

Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure Managing Director

More Information

Learn more about the California High-Speed Rail program and business plan online at https://www.hsr.ca.gov/ or contact the Board of Directors at (916) 324-1541 or boardmembers@hsr.ca.gov.

Download the Plan

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 info@hsr.ca.gov.