The California High-Speed Rail Authority, which was recently told it has to break ground next year, is once again looking into getting trains from Bakersfield to Los Angeles via the steep Grapevine route. As mentioned, that route was previously discarded, but now the option has been revived as it could shave about nine minutes off travel times from LA to SF and save about a billion dollars in construction costs. According to California Watch, one initial worry about the Grapevine route was that it could turn Bakersfield into a commuter city of LA, with travel times of less than 50 minutes between the two cities (the current drive between the two downtowns is about two hours without major traffic). A route that diverts around the Grapevine and hits Palmdale was enticing to some in Bakersfield because it would add a stop and more time on the train between their city and LA, discouraging locals from working and spending money in LA. “I think [the worry] had to do with becoming a bedroom community out of Los Angeles and losing some identity and issues like that,” Ron Brummett, executive director of Kern Council of Governments, told California Watch. The High-Speed Rail Authority's feasibility report on the Grapevine route should be ready in about four months.
· Grapevine Route Emerges as Cost Saver [California Watch]
· High-Speed Rail Should Follow I-5 [Curbed LA]