UCLA study of Japan's bullet train raises questions about California project

A new UCLA economic analysis of Japan'sShinkansen bullet train and its impact on the growth of cities along its route calls into question claims by state officials that California's high-speed rail project will create up to 400,000 permanent jobs.

Construction of Japan's vaunted bullet train began in the mid-1960s, and it did not generate higher economic growth or additional jobs, according to the study.

Written by Jerry Nickelsburg, senior economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast, the study said there may be other justifications for bullet train service between Los Angeles and San Francisco, but the $68-billion project as an engine of economic growth "will have only a marginal impact at best."

Nickelsburg examined the growth rates of cities and regions served by Japan's system, compared to the nation's overall rate of growth, and found that the introduction of high-speed passenger service had no discernible effect.

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-- Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times


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