After significant debate, the Pacheco pass route has been approved for the high-speed train between Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Next step: pass a $10 billion proposition on the November ballot.
"A proposed high-speed rail network linking Southern California and Northern California will reach the Bay Area via Pacheco Pass, after approval of an environmental impact report Wednesday by the California High-Speed Rail Authority's governing board.
The 800-mile system will come from Southern California through the San Joaquin Valley, then cut westward through Merced and Santa Clara counties, with a stop in Gilroy before continuing to stops in San Jose and San Francisco.
"It's a mixture of elation and relief, in that we have taken so long to get this passed," said board member Rod Diridon of San Jose, one of the system's most vocal boosters.
The decision also signaled the end of hopes that the route might go through the Livermore Valley and the Altamont Pass through eastern Alameda County.
The next step toward building the 200 mph-plus train system would be the passage of the $10 billion Proposition 1 bond measure on the Nov. 4 ballot, which would pay nearly a third of the cost of the system's "spine" from Anaheim to San Francisco. High-speed rail officials promise the remaining money would come from private investment and federal high-speed rail legislation Congress is now considering."