Study: High speed rail would benefit Central Valley

An economist told the California High Speed Rail Authority board Wednesday that the proposed rail system, subject of a $9.95 billion bond issue on the Nov. 4 ballot, will provide an economic boon to the Central Valley. The study, funded by the authority, was presented to the board during a meeting in Fresno.

Benefits identified by Shawn Kantor, a professor at the University of California in Merced, ranged from reduced freeway congestion to gains in productivity resulting from riders being able to work while on the train. Kantor later said he believed the Valley would see greater benefits than other parts of the state, in part because its economy is less prosperous now and has more room to improve.