Engineer pitches high speed rail project to Fresno State students

Fresno State students got the chance to learn more about the construction of the California High-Speed Rail.

Heidi Lanza, transportation engineer for the California High-Speed Rail, visited Fresno State on Tuesday to give a talk on how the high-speed rail could potentially benefit California.

Lanza said that when built, the high-speed rail could serve as an alternative to flying or driving from one city to another. As a result, California might see an increased availability in flights as well as a reduction in traffic, she said.

Brandalyn Hastings, the president of the Fresno City College chapter of I Will Ride – a group in favor of the high-speed rail – said much of the opposition stems from a distaste for projects that are unfamiliar.

“Californians don’t like change and we don’t understand the benefit of investing in the future,” Hastings said. “We have to constantly be aware of the next generation instead of always thinking about ourselves.”

Hastings said the train would be beneficial for business professionals in particular.

“You can have professionals working on their laptops with Wi-Fi on the way to a meeting in Fresno and get back before the day is over,” Hastings said. “It expands the economy in a huge way and gives a lot of opportunities for the valley towns to prosper.”

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