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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

California high-speed authority to reassess ridership, revenue forecasts


Yesterday, the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) announced it has hired three firms to conduct new ridership and revenue studies for the state’s proposed high-speed rail line, according to an article in the San Mateo County Times.

In an updated business plan released in December 2009, CHSRA estimated the system would draw 41 million riders and generate $2.87 billion in revenue annually by 2035. Critics since have questioned those figures, saying the authority has projected more passengers and, therefore, higher revenue, than is possible.

CHSRA has contracted Cambridge Systematics and University of California-Davis’ Urban Land Use and Transportation Center to conduct the new ridership and revenue studies. The authority also has contracted the University of California-Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies to conduct a peer review of past and present ridership and revenue forecasts. The studies should take 15 to 18 months to complete.