Letters to the Editor

High-speed rail a better option than planes

The article "Taking flight" (Sept. 24) actually shows why California is long overdue for a high-speed rail system.

An air route from Fresno to Sacramento would save very little time, if any, over driving. True, the flight time from takeoff to touchdown would be around a half hour. But we can't forget about everything else involved with such a trip. A half hour to drive to and park at the airport in Fresno. An hour to check in and clear security. Ten minutes taxi time at both ends. Another 15 minutes to get to ground transportation in Sacramento.

And then the long commute from Sacramento's airport, which is in the middle of nowhere, not in the middle of Sacramento. Add all these times up, and flying from Fresno to Sacramento makes little sense.

By contrast, a high-speed rail line could cut the travel time to downtown Sacramento to around an hour. If Valley leaders want more flights from Fresno, they should be working on destinations that are actually feasible, like Chicago and Atlanta. But if they really want a quicker link to Sacramento, they would be wise to put their lobbying efforts behind high-speed rail.

Brian Stepanek