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Vision needed to target high-speed rail investments

Without state and local intervention, San Joaquin Valley cities with high-speed rail stations will become sleeper communities, farming out tech workers on express trains to the Bay Area and Los Angeles, a report released Wednesday by nonprofit think-tank SPUR argues.

While the Central Valley could serve to supply the cheap housing the Bay Area has so far failed to provide its own workers, report author Egon Terplan says that outcome would fail to capitalize on perhaps the single greatest infrastructure investment this state will make in the entire century. Rather than being the tide that lifts all boats, high-speed rail could exacerbate already-stark income disparities between the two regions, he said.

If it’s done right, Terplan said those Central Valley cities can reverse years of high unemployment and disinvestment and become incubators for fledgling companies seeking cheaper rents outside the urban poles while still staying only a one- to two-hours’ commute away from…


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