Improvements to the commuter rail connections between Los Angeles and Orange counties are among the possibilities for the future of rail planning in California as uncertainty about high-speed rail continues.
The Metrolink regional commuter rail system is exploring the possibility of shifting $5.5 billion in funding from the stalled California High-Speed Rail project to the corridor connecting Burbank to Anaheim in Southern California, according to an article by Ralph Vartabedian.
Ridership on Metrolink would double between Burbank and Anaheim, relieving freeway congestion, and new high-speed electric trains would slash emissions along the route under a plan that would shift up to $5.5 billion from the bullet train project in the Central Valley to Southern California.
Metrolink outlined these improvements to the commuter rail system in an internal report it submitted to the California High-Speed Rail Authority, which is weighing a decision over the next several months to direct some of the $20.5 billion in funding for the bullet train to Southern California and the Bay Area.
Because the Burbank to Anaheim route is part of the plan for the California High-Speed Rail project, this shift in funding priority would keep money for the mode and region originally intended, just in the form of a different project.
Ideas like the investment along the Metrolink corridors are gaining traction, but the future of high-speed rail in California is still very much in flux after California Governor Gavin Newsom threw a wrench into plans earlier this year, and President Donald Trump took the opportunity to score points with conservatives in the state's Central Valley.
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