Does a high-speed rail solve housing shortages?

A Bloomberg opinion piece is stating that a high-speed rail can solve housing shortages, using China as an example where fast trains have connected people who live in the suburbs but work in the city.

It is no secret that California is short on affordable housing and for those that work far from home suffer unbearable commutes.

President Trump and Gov. Newsom have engaged in Twitter battles over the controversial bullet train with Trump demanding California pay back the billions spent.

Newsom even scrapped the plans to build the rail from Los Angeles to San Francisco and instead wants to focus on constructing the stretch from Bakersfield to Merced, which will be beneficial to literally 12 people.

Bloomberg author Matthew E. Kahn writes, "Given the huge disparities in productivity across U.S. cities and the opposition to building significant quantities of new housing, fast rail transit is a feasible way to provide affordable access to jobs. Consider that the median home price in San Jose, California, is $631 per square foot, four times as high as that in Merced, which lies 100 miles away. If it were possible to commute at high speeds from Merced to San Jose, workers could have both good jobs and homes within their means."

If people actually want to live in Merced that is another story but a high-speed rail just seems like a dream that can never become feasible reality at this point.

Read Kahn's article here.

Photo: Getty Images

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