All About Design - The Design Collaborative

Podcast episode: Blur Rail and our urgent need for better transportation

October 22, 2020
Our News, Press

Our Founder, Tana Green, was invited to guest speak in a roundtable discussion podcast episode of independent design professionals about high-speed rail. The All About Design podcast is a project of The Design Collaborative, based in Los Angeles. Titled “Blur rail and our urgent need for better transportation” we focused on where is high-speed rail in the U.S, and the world, where it is expanding, and the benefits it can provide to families struggling with working-from-home in large and smaller cities around the country.

Listen to the podcast episode!

Due to the pervasiveness of remote working because of COVID restrictions, many smaller cities are seeing opportunities for growth and attracting remote workers to move. New high speed rail corridor development in the US could provide the opportunity for remote workers to travel on occasion for important company meetings and workshops in large cities, and still live comfortably in distant smaller cities where the cost of living is less. 

The Constellation Plan for high-speed rail in the USA that Tana produced for our High-Speed Rail USA brand is a vision for how every state in the country can invest in its larger cities and still provide access to remote jobs and comfortable living in smaller cities. This plan can be a roadmap for successful development of affordable housing and transit-oriented development in more than 150 cities in the US.

Regular speakers in this episode include Alexis Dennis IIDA of Dennis Huether Studio, Carrie Gillis LEED AP O+M of JLL , and host Jaime Garza SE of The Design Collaborative

Our discussion focused on the California High-Speed Rail program, the Texas high-speed rail program, and the growth in other states like Washington and Illinois. Read more about our analysis and proposal for phasing the California, Washington, and Illinois ultra high-speed rail programs in our blog posts below.

High-speed rail in California: The Grizzly Bear Constellation

The California High-Speed Rail program

  • The California HSR system estimates that by 2040, 40 million riders will deliver $4.5 Billion in revenue each year to the state.
  • This will reduce the GHG equivalent to 400k cars not driving in one year.
  • The initial segment of 171 miles in the central valley should be compete in ’28 or ’29. Connecting Merced, Fresno, and Bakersfield.

The Climate Crisis

We are reaching a point of no return for the planet. This is known as a point where we keep a global average temperature rise well below a 2-degree centigrade level.

The worse-case scenario is hard to imagine if we do nothing significant as a planet in these next 10 years, we will reach a new equilibrium of 4.5-degree centigrade rise. Within 200 years, all polar ice will melt, and a 20m sea level rise, which will drastically reshape inhabitable land in the world, and cause food scarcity due to unpredictable weather patterns.

Emissions need to decline by 6-7% a year.

What Can You Do?

  • You can commit to an all-electric commute, whether by light-rail, electric bus, EV, bicycle, e-bike or intercity rail.
  • Work remotely in smaller cities, like Fresno, Merced, or Bakersfield, and eventually take the bullet train to the big city.
  • Take low-carbon trips around the world. Book tickets on high-speed trains in 10 countries with Blur Rail

Learn more about our policy ideas for high-speed rail development in the USA at

The Constellation Plan for High-speed rail in the USA