Voter Information Guide (VIG)

PDF versions of the VIG Get Adobe Reader

PLEASE NOTE: After the printing of the Voter Information Guide was
underway, Proposition 1 was removed from the ballot pursuant to statute.
It will be replaced by Proposition 1A on the ballot. A Supplemental Voter Information Guide was printed to provide voters with the text, analyses, arguments, and other information about the measure required by law.

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Title and Summary Analysis Arguments and Rebuttals Text of Proposed Law




Proposition 1A will bring Californians a safe, convenient, affordable, and reliable alternative to soaring gasoline prices, freeway congestion, rising airfares, plummeting airline service, and fewer flights available.

It will reduce California's dependence on foreign oil and reduce greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

Proposition 1A is a $9.95 billion bond measure for an 800-mile High-Speed Train network that will relieve 70 million passenger trips a year that now clog California's highways and airports—WITHOUT RAISING TAXES.

California will be the first state in the country to benefit from environmentally preferred High-Speed Trains common today in Europe and Asia. Proposition 1A will bring California:

  • Electric-powered High-Speed Trains running up to 220 miles an hour on modern track, safely separated from other traffic generally along existing rail corridors.
  • Routes linking downtown stations in SAN DIEGO, LOS ANGELES, FRESNO, SAN JOSE, SAN FRANCISCO, and SACRAMENTO, with stops in communities in between.
  • High-Speed Train service to major cities in ORANGE COUNTY, the INLAND EMPIRE, the SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY, and the SOUTH BAY.
  • Nearly a billion dollars to beef up commuter rail systems that connect to High-Speed Trains.

Proposition 1A will save time and money. Travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 2½ hours for about $50 a person. With gasoline prices today, a driver of a 20-miles-per-gallon car would spend about $87 and six hours on such a trip.

Ten years of study and planning have gone into PREPARING FOR construction, financing, and operation of a California bullet train network modeled on popular, reliable, and successful systems in Europe and Asia. Their record shows that High-Speed Trains deliver, both in service and economy.

Air travelers spend more time on the ground than in the air today. Proposition 1A will create a new transportation choice that improves conditions at our major airports. There's no room for more runways. High-Speed Trains can relieve that demand.

Electric-powered High-Speed Trains will remove over 12 billion pounds of CO2 and greenhouse gases, equal to the pollution of nearly 1 million cars. And High-Speed Trains require one-third the energy of air travel and one-fifth the energy of auto travel.

Proposition 1A will protect taxpayer interests.

  • Public oversight and detailed independent review of financing plans.
  • Matching private and federal funding to be identified BEFORE state bond funds are spent.
  • 90% of the bond funds to be spent on system construction, not more studies, plans, and engineering activities.
  • Bond financing to be available to every part of the state.
  • The most cost-efficient construction segments to have the highest priority.

Vote Yes on Proposition 1A to IMPROVE MOBILITY and inject new vitality into California's economy by creating nearly 160,000 construction-related jobs and 450,000 permanent jobs in related industries like tourism. These are American jobs that cannot be outsourced.

Vote Yes on Proposition 1A.

STEVEN B. FALK, President
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

California High-Speed Rail Authority



The same politicians who can't solve our budget crisis and want to raise your taxes think they can run their own government railroad. Even they admit this high cost train hits taxpayers for $40 billion. Even so, this is just a "partial payment" by taxpayers, with NO guarantee it will be completed.

The project wasted $58 million on consultants, European travel, and fancy brochures and now billions more may be spent without laying an inch of track—money we'd have to repay even if the project failed.

The special interests backing Prop. 1A are notorious for their multi-billion dollar cost overruns.


Politicians admit that Prop. 1A will annually cost California taxpayers $647 million each year for 30 years to repay debt. With California's already high debt levels, this will lead politicians to raise your taxes. California is America's 4th highest taxed state and high taxes chase jobs out of California. Passage of Prop. 1A may result in California passing New York to be the highest taxed state in America.


Californians' problem is not getting from San Francisco to Los Angeles, it's getting into work each day.

Investing the same amount of money in regional transit and highway congestion relief would reduce pollution and our reliance on foreign oil.

NO ON PROP. 1A: WEAK accountability, NO congestion relief for suffering commuters, and TAXPAYERS CAN'T AFFORD IT!

California State Assemblyman

California Rail Foundation

MIKE ARNOLD, Ph.D., Co-Chair
Marin Citizens for Effective Transportation

NO on Prop. 1A: $20 Billion Cost for Taxpayers

Prop. 1A is a boondoggle that will cost taxpayers at least $20 billion in principal and interest. The whole project could cost $90 billion—the most expensive railroad in history. No one really knows how much this will ultimately cost.

Taxpayers will foot this bill—it’s not “free money.” According to the measure (Article 3, Section 2704.10) “. . . the full faith and credit of the State of California is hereby pledged for the punctual payment of both principal of, and interest on, the bonds . . ..” This measure will take $20 billion ($2,000 for an average family of four) out of the general fund over the life of the bonds.

NO on Prop. 1A: California Taxpayers Can't Afford Higher Budget Deficits

With our budget crisis, billions in red ink, pending cuts to health care, the poor, parks, and schools, now is NOT THE TIME to add another $20 billion in state debt and interest. The state already has over $100 BILLION DOLLARS in voter approved bond debt and our bond rating is already among the worst in the nation.

NO on Prop. 1A—Better Uses for Taxpayer Dollars

California has higher priorities than this $20 BILLION DOLLAR boondoggle.

What would $20 billion buy?

  • 22,000 new teachers, firefighters, or law enforcement personnel for 10 years.
  • Health care for all children in the state for many years.
  • Updating and improving California’s water system to provide a reliable supply of safe, clean water.
  • Upgrade and expand existing transportation systems including roads and transit throughout California, which would really reduce traffic and emissions.

NO on Prop. 1A—Virtually No Accountability

Politicians, bureaucrats, and special interests will control the money, not voters. In fact, the lead contractor for this project is Parsons-Brinckerhoff, the same builder of the infamous “Big Dig” in Boston which had billions in cost overruns.

There is not ONE citizen member on the new “peer review group.” They are all politicians and bureaucrats.

NO on Prop. 1A—An Open Taxpayer Checkbook

Section 8(e) says the bond funds are “. . . intended to encourage the federal government and the private sector to make a significant contribution toward the construction . . ..”

NOTE THE WORD “ENCOURAGED”—that’s bureaucratic language for “we will spend taxpayer money regardless of whether we ever get a penny from the private sector or the federal government.”

In fact, $58 million in taxpayer money has ALREADY been spent on this project and not ONE FOOT of track has been laid. Now they want us to trust them with BILLIONS more.

NO on Prop. 1A—Promoted by Special Interests for Special Interests

The Association for California High Speed Trains is promoting this boondoggle. Their Board represents out-of-state special interests (France, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, New York City, Texas, and Illinois), many of whom stand to make millions if this measure passes.

Please Join Us in Voting "NO" on Prop. 1A.

Log on, learn more, and read it for yourself:

HON. TOM McCLINTOCK, State Senator


JON COUPAL, President
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association


California's high-speed rail network requires NO TAX INCREASE and is subject to strict fiscal controls and oversight.

It's simple and fair—once completed, THE USERS OF THE SYSTEM PAY FOR THE SYSTEM. That's why taxpayer watchdog groups support Proposition 1A.

Electric High-Speed Trains will give Californians a real alternative to skyrocketing gasoline prices and dependence on foreign oil while reducing greenhouse gases. Building high-speed rail is cheaper than expanding highways and airports to meet California's population growth.

Gridlock, hassles of flying and long-distance auto travel have become very onerous. Proposition 1A will save time. Travel intercity downtown to downtown throughout California on High-Speed Trains faster than automobile or air—AT A CHEAPER COST!

California's transportation system is out-of-date and deteriorating. We need options to poorly maintained roads, jammed runways, and congested highways. Californians need what most of the civilized world has—high-speed rail. We've fallen so far behind other states and nations that our crumbling infrastructure threatens our economy.

A 220-mile-an-hour statewide rail system will give Californians a faster, environmentally friendly alternative for travel.

Proposition 1A will create 160,000 construction-related jobs and 450,000 permanent jobs.

Proposition 1A is endorsed by law enforcement experts, business leaders, environmentalists, and Californians looking for safe, affordable, and reliable transportation.

Signers of the ballot argument against Proposition 1A are habitual opponents of transportation improvements. Their claims are wrong and their data simply made up.

Californians need to invest in modern, effective transportation.

Vote Yes on Proposition 1A.

JIM EARP, Executive Director
California Alliance for Jobs

State Building & Construction Trades Council of

LUCY DUNN, President
Orange County Business Council

Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.

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