CA High Speed Rail Bill is Now Law

In signing ceremonies in both Los Angeles's Union Station and San Francisco's Transbay Terminal (under construction), Gov. Jerry Brown appropriated $4.7 billion in Prop. 1A, 2008 bond funds that will be matched with $3.2 billion in federal HSR funds.

July 18 was a busy day for Jerry Brown. No doubt he wished he could take the train that, if ever built, should bear his name, from Union Station to the Transbay Terminal for the ceremonies of his signing of SB 1029 that passed the state Senate on July 6 by one vote.

CNN used the funding figures included in the Governor's press release: "The high-speed rail project was part of a transportation bill signed by Brown that calls for general improvements to the state's rail system involving a total of $4.7 billion in state funding matched with $7.9 billion in federal and local funds, officials said."

Transportation reporter David Siders of the Sacramento Bee used funding figures more reflective of the actual federal matching funds rather than the total of $12.6 billion noted by Brown.

"The legislation authorizes $5.8 billion to start construction of a high-speed rail line in the Central Valley, including $2.6 billion in state rail bond funds and $3.2 billion in federal aid. To gain political support for the project in the state's most densely populated areas, the administration also included $1.9 billion in funding to improve urban rail systems and connect them to high-speed rail."

Similarly, transportation reporter Mike Rosenberg of the San Jose Mercury News used the $8 billion combined federal and local investment.

"The centerpiece of SB 1029, however, is $6 billion to start building the first tracks in the Central Valley early next year. The remaining $2 billion will beef up transit while laying the groundwork for high-speed rail in the Bay Area and Southern California, including electrification of the existing Caltrain line between San Francisco and San Jose."

Explaining the additional $4.6 billion in transportation investments are the 'leveraged' funds for the local transit projects that the $1.9 billion of state bond funds contributed to in northern California and southern California.

Thanks to Rob Wilcox

Full Story: Governor signs law to make California home to nation's first truly high-speed rail

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