New CA HSR Obstacle: Lack of Private Funding

In another major blow to the struggling rail project, the High Speed Rail Authority has written the state legislature that private financing, which they had counted on to fund 1/3 the capital cost, may not be available until the train is running.

1 minute read

October 21, 2011, 9:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid


On Nov. 1, the authority is due to present the state legislature a revised business plan.

"The letter (written by the authority to the legislature) gives a preview of the authority's upcoming business plan, a critical document that is supposed to address long-standing concerns that it lacks a credible blueprint for building and operating the system... Originally, the authority hoped to build the system based on three sources of funding: federal, state and private money. The letter by the authority, sent Friday (Oct. 14), said for the first time that private investors are unlikely to put up cash before the system is operating."

If the House of Representatives approves the bill by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield and nine additional House members, all California Republicans, the authority would receive no federal funding through September 2012. Without federal funding or private funding, the authority will not be able to spend the remaining $6 billion in the 2008 bond measure that authorized the project as those bonds must be applied as matching funds.

"One option appears to be a financing tool, being considered in a U.S. Senate subcommittee, in which the federal government would provide tax credits to holders of bonds used to help build the system, according to the authority's letter to the Legislature's budget committees."

Thanks to California League of Conservation Voters

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 in Los Angeles Times: Environment

Satalite image of a bright green lake surrounded by brownish-green land

California’s Largest Natural Lake Turns Green With … Algae

A potentially toxic algal bloom has turned Clear Lake in Northern California bright green, fed by increased runoff from human activity.

June 4, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

Three colorful, large beachfront homes, one khaki, one blue, and one yellow, with a small dune in front and flat sand in foreground.

Florida Homeowners 'Nope Out' of Beach Restoration Over Public Access

The U.S. Corps of Engineers and Redington Shores, Florida are at a standstill: The Corps won’t spend public money to restore private beaches, and homeowners are refusing to grant public access to the beaches behind their home in return for federal assistance.

June 7, 2024 - Grist

Multistory apartment building under construction.

New Tennessee Law Allows No-Cost Incentives for Affordable Housing

Local governments in the Volunteer State can now offer developers incentives like increased density, lower parking requirements, and priority permitting for affordable housing projects.

June 10, 2024 - Nooga Today

Three men riding recumbent bikes on paved greenway next to bayou with Houston skyline in background.

Houston Developers Question Mayor’s Stance on Pedestrian Projects

The new mayor’s reversal of road safety projects, some already underway or completed, is raising eyebrows among developers who say residents want walkable, mixed-use streets.

1 hour ago - Houston Chronicle

Cambridge Kendall Square skyline and MBTA red line train on Longfellow Bridge aerial view, Boston, Massachusetts MA, USA.

MBTA Budget Inadequate for Key Projects

Without additional funding, the agency is ‘barely treading water’ and could be forced to make service cuts in 2026.

2 hours ago - Route Fifty

Walkway at San Gabriel River Park.

From Duck Farm to Parkland

The opening of the San Gabriel River Park expands access to green spaces for residents in the San Gabriel Valley, especially for Avocado Heights and other park-poor communities in the area.

June 12 - San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.