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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Poll: Half of California residents support HSR system

Californians are split on their support of a proposed high-speed rail (HSR) system, according to a recent statewide survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). Fifty-one percent of those polled favor building an HSR system, while 45 percent oppose it. But of those who said they are likely to vote in upcoming elections, 53 percent oppose the HSR system and 43 percent support it.

In addition, the majority of Democrats polled favor the project (53 percent) while the majority of Republicans (66 percent) oppose it.

The majority of San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles area residents polled supported the HSR system (57 percent and 54 percent, respectively), while residents in the Central Valley are divided, with 50 percent favoring the project and 47 percent opposing it.

Meanwhile, 33 percent of the respondents said they believe an HSR system is very important for the California’s future quality of life and economic vitality, 26 percent said it’s somewhat important, 17 percent said it’s not too important and 21 percent said it’s not important at all.

The poll was part of the "Californians and their Government" series, which PPIC conducts periodically to analyze the social, economic and political trends that influence public policy preferences and ballot choices. The institute polled 2,000 California residents by telephone. In addition to HSR, the poll included questions about residents’ likeliness to vote in the upcoming elections, opinions on state and national issues, and approval of Gov. Jerry Brown. PPIC “informs and improves public policy through independent, objective, nonpartisan research,” according to the organization’s website.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/9/2012