That could make Burbank — the first stop north of Los Angeles — a destination for some of the between 38 million and 55 million passengers expected to ride the first phase on an annual basis, said William Roberts, director of the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at Cal State Northridge.
“I would expect it to bring people in that otherwise wouldn’t come in, and it’ll make it more attractive to work in that area because it’ll make it easy to get to than places where there aren’t stops,” Roberts said.
The project is also expected to bring jobs to the area and throughout California, during planning, construction and operation phases, according to the authority.
More than 600,000 construction-related jobs would be added to build the high-speed system, and an additional 450,000 jobs would be in place once it is completed, according to the authority.
Planners expect 55,000 jobs in the Los Angeles County area related to the rail line over the next 10 years, said Sara Costin, director of Consensus Inc., which is conducting community public outreach for the authority.
But new indirect jobs will also be created in the area as more businesses likely look to position around the line and its stop in Burbank, said Bruce Ackerman, president and chief executive of the Valley Economic Alliance.
Shops and restaurants may also be incorporated into areas surrounding the potential Burbank station, Ackerman said.
The most important local benefit in the near term, however, will be construction, he said.
“If you want to jump-start this economy in Southern California, get people out in construction jobs,” Ackerman said.