Both Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies (ET3) and Hyperloop want to compete against California High Speed Rail (HSR). So, ET3 has begun an Indiegogo campaign to fund the legal research and drafting of a California proposition that will remove the obstacles holding back ET3 and Hyperloop from competing to deliver a next generation ground transportation system that the traffic and smog ridden residents of California deserve.
ET3 is just weeks away from a big announcement on ground breaking for the demo that is planned to open in 2016.
CAN CALIFORNIA TRULY LEAD THE WORLD IN ESTABLISHING A 21ST CENTURY TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM?
California has embarked on a multi-billion dollar project to bring “high-speed” rail to fruition. The project was approved by voters in 2008 (Proposition 1A) when they authorized the sale of $9.5 billion in bonds. Since then, cost estimates have sky-rocketed, the promises made in Proposition 1A have been broken, and the first leg of the system will be over-budget, overdue, and will not be “high-speed.”
Worse yet, the government’s financial and political investment in “high-speed” rail is so large that any alternative that might compete with the rail system (by being faster, cheaper, more efficient) will be blocked by the politicians and regulators.
There is good news, however. First, it is not too late to change course. Second, California’s initiative process allows the voters (already regretting their decision on Prop 1A) to go around the politicians and regulators and to directly authorize the construction of a 21st Century transportation system — Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies (“ET3”) and/or Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (“HTT”). [Companies names will not be in Proposition].
ET3 is faster than jets yet can accomplish 50 times more transportation per kWh than electric cars or trains at 1/10th the cost of High Speed Rail (HSR). ET3 is where car sized capsules accelerated by electric power coast on maglev in an automated tube network without air friction. 350mph ET3 cost less than roads an can achieve up to 4000mph with proven technology.
HOW CAN THE INITIATIVE PROCESS ADVANCE ET3 TECHNOLOGY AND PUT THE BRAKES ON HIGH-SPEED RAIL?
THE INITIATIVE PROCESS: Under the California Constitution any voter can propose enactment of a law by presenting a petition signed by approximately 505,000 registered voters. The process for qualifying such an initiative begins with the drafting of the proposed law. In order to qualify for the ballot in November, 2014 it is imperative that the legal language be drafted and submitted to the Attorney General for review not later than November 30, 2013 (submitting language much later would cut into the time needed to circulate petitions among the voters and greatly increased the cost to qualify the measure).
Upon receipt of the Attorney General’s analysis, there would be approximately 100-110 days to circulate the petition among the voters. The petitions would be submitted to elections officials for “signature verification” ideally on or before May 1, 2014. By law, an initiative measure must be certified as having qualified for the ballot by June 26, 2014.
The total estimated cost to qualify a measure for the ballot is between $2.5 and $2.9 million.
THE INITIATIVE: The initiative must provide for two critical elements:
1) Suspend further development of “high-speed” rail while ET3 is given an opportunity to compete.
* Because funds have been expended and contracts let, the initiative will likely allow the first segment (the “train to nowhere”) to proceed, but authorize the rail Authority to temporarily suspend its construction.
* Temporarily suspend the issuance of more bond debt for any other development of the high-speed rail system.
* If the ET3 system meets certain benchmarks (described below) permanently suspend the authorization for the issuance of any more bond debt.
2) Authorize the construction, licensing, operation, and maintenance of a “pilot ET3 project.”
* Oversight/regulated by the Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”).
* Require PUC to obtain “right of way” for pilot segment (3-10 miles long).
* Require private funding of construction, operation, maintenance costs.
* Establish bid procedures for obtaining right to construct, operate, maintain pilot segment (include minimum functions: e.g. 250 mph; electric; passenger efficiency goal; remote accessibility).
* Exempt pilot segment from CEQA
* Permit operator to obtain AB 32 carbon credits
* Establish benchmarks for “success.”
* Lay foundation for full-scale implementation of ET3 transportation system.