How High-Speed Rail Builds Housing



In southern Ontario, high-speed intercity rail is but a dream, but in California an enormous project is underway.

Along its route, transit-oriented development is expected to spring up. That way, communities along the north-south route could build housing near the rail project so people can commute to job-rich San Jose. San Jose’s house prices are astronomical but cities about 90 minutes away provide less expensive accommodation.

Planetizen provides a look at the project and its side benefits:

The political messaging of the California High Speed Rail over the past decade has been focusing on the notion of connecting Northern California to Southern California, eliminating those long drives on the Interstate 5 or 101 Freeway. Now, in an interview with The Planning Report, California High-Speed Rail Authority Board Chair Dan Richard reframing the value of CA HSR as one solution to the significant state housing crisis.

As the CA HSR Authority seeks a new CEO to guide the program’s next phase, Richard spoke about the fact that the entire program is at a crossroads. Politically unpopular and still needing a huge amount of investment to be financed to completion, the high-speed rail project is also currently successfully laying track and creating jobs in the Central Valley.

In the interview, Richard spoke about the role of high-speed rail to allow Silicon Valley to continue to flourish by relieving some of the housing pressure. As the first leg of the project will connect the Central Valley to San Jose, Richard spoke of the state’s goal is to place transit-oriented development and housing investments into cities like Fresno and Madera that will have stops along the route. The families living in those communities will be able to get to the jobs hub of San Jose in under 90 minutes.

To read the full story in Planetizen and The Planning Report, click here.



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