Give me my car.
Most people prefer a mode of travel at their sole command. I think people like to dress mass transit up as some fantastic thing that can replace cars (it can't) or something but to me it is just a piece in the transit puzzle. I am fine with trains and get the issue with airtravel but, and I hate to say it, once the first bomb or something like that goes off on a train, the experience will change and be more like airtravel. I truly hope it doesn't happen. Ever.
But cars are great tools for conveyance and outdo any mass transit by a long shot. There is no way to overcome the fact that cars, over long or short but particularly short distances, can transport anyone when they want to where they want with whatever they want to bring (for the most part), in comfort and safety and protected at most all points from outside weather. Mass transit includes highways that can transport anything and everything from people to hazardous good, day and night, summer or winter anywhere anytime. No train can do that. All trains require inter-modal systems to go "the final mile" and that means roads.
I can right now jump in my car and be north of the Bay Area at my kid's school in about 9 hours. This train could not do that and never will be able too. I can and do and would support the CHSR if it were to actually do and be what was voted on in the ballot measure.. I voted for it then. But I hate liars and they are making liars and fools of everyone involved in the project.
It needs to die in it current incarnation. Let them bring it back when they can present a solid use case with real numbers and data. Sell me the truth, not a lie. Right now it is just a bad jobs and political pandering project and nothing more.
Of course the fear of train supporters now is the coming of autonomous systems for and the electrification of road-bound conveyances. Once that happens a lot of the justifications used for people-trains will go away. need for trains. So they want to do anything they can to get whatever pet project they have as far along as possible hoping to get it to "the point of no return". The CHSR is already well beyond that and this single tracking change proves that.
You're demanding "real numbers and data", yet you don't show data to prove your point that most people prefer driving. And before you show me data about the majority of Americans driving for their travel needs, keep in mind 1) that doesn't mean all of them like to drive, and 2) the majority of them likely don't have a choice because our transit and intercity rail services are a skeletal network. If our transit and intercity rail infrastructure was like Western Europe would there be as many people driving? I highly doubt it. Yes mass transit, intercity rail, and HSR can't replace the car for all trips, but that's not the point of them. If our country wants to come out of the pandemic stronger then one important thing we need to do is have diverse modes of travel, not our status quo of either driving or flying unless you live in the Northeast or you're just lucky and the train fits your schedule.
The progress autonomous vehicle technology has made can be applied to railways as well. It's very likely easier to apply autonomous technology to railways since there's a lot less obstacles and unpredictabilities to deal with than on the road. There's already remote controlled locomotives that work in rail yards, autonomous metros like in Copenhagen, and automated people movers you typically see at airports. Putting all of our faith in autonomous cars being technologically proven and commonplace soon is not a good transportation strategy.
Too many airports to fit in signature.