Groups hold rally in support of California high-speed rail

OILDALE, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Amid a growing effort by several groups to put a stop to the state's high-speed rail project, advocates for the bullet train gathered on the railroad tracks off Robert's Lane to show their support for the multibillion-dollar plan.

Representatives from several groups showed came out to show their support.

"We are providing an opportunity to put our unemployed residents to work, to obtain entry level construction jobs for the high speed rail and other infrastructure improvement projects coming to the valley." said Daniel Smith, director of the Employers' Training Resource center.

Smith was joined by the group "I Will Ride," which is made of Fresno State University students who say the bullet train would attract more employers to the Central Valley, which would in turn provide more jobs for graduates.

Members of the group said many graduates are forced to head to the coast to find job opportunities and that the new rail system would attract more jobs because the transportation would be faster.

But opponents claim the project is too costly, something Bob Jennings, regional director for the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, disputes.

"I say we can't afford not to build it now," Jennings said, "because it's never going to get any cheaper than it is now."