April 12, 2012
Lance Simmens, 916-203-6160
High-Speed Rail Authority Board Passes
Revised 2012 Business Plan
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- The California High-Speed Rail
Authority Board today passed a 2012 revised business plan that will
provide for high-speed rail service within a decade, connect the state’s major
metropolitan areas, utilize existing rail infrastructure in northern and
southern California and provide earlier statewide benefits to commuters in the
Bay Area and Los Angeles at a cost of $68.4 billion.
pleased to announce today that the High-Speed Rail Authority has taken a huge
step forward toward making a coordinated statewide transportation network a
viable reality,” said Authority Board Chair Dan Richard.
The business plan was adopted with an amendment
committing the Authority to work with transportation agencies in Orange County
to identify cost-effective ways to enable a one-seat ride to and from Anaheim.
As part of the amendment, the Southern California Passenger Rail Planning
Coalition will consider options for a connection that will cost less and be
less intrusive than a full-build connection enabling the one-seat ride to
“We now stand poised to have an operational high-speed
passenger rail system within ten years,” said Board Member Mike Rossi. “By
working with community leaders throughout the state we will begin construction
soon on a smarter, more cost-effective transportation option for all
Californians that reflects the direction mandated by voters in 2008 with the
passage of Proposition 1A.”
unanimously approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Southern
California transportation agencies and MPOs. This document outlines a
shared commitment to advance the development of high-speed rail while providing
funding for local early investment projects in Southern California that will
improve rail service immediately. This agreement is designed
to set the stage for construction to begin on needed Southern California
infrastructure projects as early as next year.
In another unanimous decision, the Board approved a
Memorandum of Understanding with Northern California transportation entities.
This would electrify the popular Caltrain commuter train from San Jose to San
Francisco. The MOU, which has been approved by the Metropolitan Transportation
Commission, calls for local and regional entities to provide funding for just
over half the $1.5 billion agreement. The Authority would provide $706 million
from 2008 Prop 1A bond monies.
Lynn Schenk, vice chair of the Authority Board and
longtime proponent of high-speed rail, lauded the voice of youth represented
by pro-high-speed rail groups such as UC Merced student group
"I Will Ride," whose founder spoke during the public comment
period. Schenk said, “I am most encouraged by the energy and enthusiasm of
young professionals, teens and twentysomethings who have made it clear that
this is a project that will benefit their generation.”
Elected officials, advocacy groups and individuals
overwhelmingly spoke in favor of the business plan at the meeting.
“I hope to see, in the near future, trains pulling
through all the way from Los Angeles to the Central Valley, through Silicon
Valley to San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal, which we believe to be the Grand
Central Station of the West,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, speaking in
favor of the business plan at the meeting.
“I appreciate that High-Speed Rail embraced the proposal
for a blended system that Peninsula elected officials, namely Congresswoman
Anna Eshoo, State Sen. Joe Simitian and Assemblyman Rich Gordon called for a
year ago,” said Adrienne Tissier, who chairs the Metropolitan Transportation
Commission, Caltrain and the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors.
The business plan
adopted Thursday was shaped by public feedback drawn from nearly 300 statewide
meetings with landowners, elected officials and the public, as well as 250
public comments received over a two and a half month comment period.
California’s High-Speed Train Project
The California High-Speed Rail Authority is developing a San
Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles and Anaheim high-speed rail system that will
operate at speeds of up to 220 miles per hour. The full system will connect all
of the state’s major urban centers, including Sacramento and San Diego. Initial
infrastructure construction will begin in the Central Valley, the backbone of
the system, in 2012. The project will generate 100,000 construction job-years
of employment over the next five years and nearly one million economy-wide
job-years over the life of the project. The project is being funded through
voter-approved state bonds, federal funding grants, local funding, and