Legislative funders of high-speed rail in California are faced with the decision to fund all, part or none of a proposed high-speed rail link between Los Angeles and San Francisco. A contingency exists, now supported by newly published economic and environmental impact studies, to build part of the link between San Francisco and the Central Valley.
Two years after the 2005 release of the Tier 1 System-wide Environmental Impact Report (EIR), the California High-Speed Rail Authority released the Tier 2 EIR on the San Francisco Bay Area to Central Valley segment as an independent project. The economic analysis was conducted by Economic Development Research Group and Cambridge Systematics, based on a detailed accounting of expected changes in travel times, costs, reliability and access for train travelers, highway users and airline travelers.
The analysis for the San Francisco-Central Valley segment was conducted at a detailed spatial level using TREDIS (Transportation Economic Development Impact System), which was selected for its enhanced capability to estimate net business attraction impacts of enhanced labor, business travel and tourism markets, as well as the more standard economic impacts of time and cost savings.