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Palo Alto's missing transit alternative: low-speed rail

Original post made by Transit Guy, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2011

In our endless quest to find the perfect solution to the conundrum that is high-speed rail, I think the city is overlooking an obvious alternative: low-speed rail.

This little-known, easygoing technology, which is slowly catching on in cities across the globe, is low-cost, friendly to the environment and non-disruptive to communities' quality of life. While HSR is estimated to cost California $65 billion (and climbing), low-speed rail costs a whopping $50,000 (contingency fees included).

Why spend massive amounts of tax-payer dollars for underground tunnels, elevated tracks and property-taking? Low-speed rail -- which is basically a handcar, though it looks a lot nicer than the ones from the 1800s -- can operate on existing Caltrain right-of-way. No need for government subsidies, endless pleas to reluctant private investors, trying to sell air rights or launching the project in obscure Central Valley towns so as not to raise a ruckus.

And the timeline? Forget 2035. Heck, we could get it going tomorrow! As usual, I think Palo Alto is overthinking the thing. Low-speed rail: It's the right thing to do.

(Oh, and APRIL FOOLS!)

Comments (1)

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 1, 2011 at 11:15 am

Glad the public are able to join in the tomfoolery too!

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