Gov Reafirms Faith In Controversial CA High Speed Rail Project

The cost of CA's high speed rail system has doubled, but Gov. Brown has shown his faith in the authority in charge of the 800-mile system by asking the legislature, many of whom oppose HSR, to release bond funds the voters approved three years ago.

Clearly looking towards the future and drawing comparisons with the transcontinental railroad and the Golden Gate Bridge, Gov. Jerry Brown evaluated the costs of the nearly $100 billion LA-SF rail system outlined in the new business plan with that of widening the state's freeways and enlarging airports.

Brown will back the High Speed Rail Authority's request to the legislature to release $2.7 billion of the $9.75 billion, Proposition 1A, 2008 bond funds, necessary to access $3.3 billion in federal grants.

"I want to see the first (Central Valley) segment completed in short order," Brown said, noting that under the current plan the full scale-system would not be finished until he was 95 years old. "You can't build something like this in one jump. We have the first step paid down."

"The governor downplayed widespread criticism that the rail construction would destroy businesses, damage farms and displace homes along the route. He recalled that during his time as Oakland mayor, opposition surfaced against every building project from people concerned about traffic and those complaining about structures that would block sunlight."

"It is part of the reason we can't get anything done in the state," Brown said about opponents of building projects. "You don't make an omelet unless you break the egg."

Thanks to The Nooner

Full Story: Brown will ask legislators to OK billions for bullet train

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Irvin Dawid's picture
Correspondent

LA Times editorial also endorses new HSRA business plan

"The good news about the rail authority's new business plan is that it's no longer a fantasy. It lays out a sensible and politically feasible strategy for building the line in segments, starting with the 130-mile, $6-billion section from Fresno to Bakersfield slated to break ground next year, thanks to $3 billion in stimulus funds kicked in by the federal government (the other half of the money will presumably come from the state in the form of Proposition 1a bonds, assuming the Legislature approves them). But the plan also lays bare the great risks California officials aim to take with taxpayer money." (EDITORIAL - Still on board the bullet train, Nov. 4)
Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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