Senators, governor seek high speed rail funding

U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein (both D-CA) and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) wrote to President Barack Obama on Monday in support of California's requests for high-speed and intercity rail funding through the Recovery Act.

"We write in strong support of California's applications for high-speed and intercity rail funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)," they wrote. "California has led the nation in its commitment to creating a statewide high-speed rail system.

"Our state has been a leader and innovator in addressing environmental and transportation challenges on a national level. Last November, California voters approved nearly $9 billion in state bonds for high-speed rail construction, far outpacing other states' efforts to secure local and state funding for these projects. California has completed design and planning for the nearly 800-mile system and made significant progress on the environmental review, making our state uniquely qualified to employ federal funding quickly.

"California's high-speed rail applications have broad support across the state, with backing from leading business, environmental and labor leaders. The California Chamber of Commerce, the Labor Federation of California and the Sierra Club have all endorsed California's applications for funding. The success of California's high-speed rail system is enormously important to our state. High-speed rail will help ease congestion and improve air quality. With unemployment in California reaching 12.5 percent – the highest unemployment rate in nearly 70 years – the impact of providing 130,000 construction-related jobs statewide cannot be understated.

"We appreciate your attention to the needs of California and thank you for your commitment to this important issue. We stand ready to work with your administration in the coming years to ensure that high-speed rail has the resources necessary to continue to be a national priority."

— staff reports


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Posted by Kaimuki
a resident of Danville
on Nov 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm

High speed rail, eh? Rode the bullet train in Japan in 1963.
After all the money Feinstein, Boxer and Schw. waste we'll wind up with another version of AMTRACK -- slow, obsolete, dirty, never on time at 50 miles per hour tops.
What you do not realize that fast trains need fast train tracks and infrastructure which it takes decades to develop.

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Posted by Rick
a resident of Danville
on Nov 27, 2009 at 7:56 am

I understand that for millions instead of billions we could improve the existing track bed to increase the speed to about 130 mph. Why don't we do that?

Why? Because the politicians have ulterior motives to push this project. More money equals more power. Who cares about fiscal responsibility! If it was their salary and perks that were going to pay for it I bet we'd get a different story!


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Posted by Supporter
a resident of Danville
on Nov 27, 2009 at 9:49 am

Spain could do it. Italy could do it. We all know Japan has done it. We can, should and will, build it and we will all love it. Enough of the nay-sayers, some of whom seem to oppose everything. We've had a top-notch team working on high-speed rail for years now. The sooner, the better!

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Posted by Ron
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Our senators along with Pres Obama should be able to get the funds available to get the high speed rail moving ahead.

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Posted by jakefarsh
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 3, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Let's see, The country is going broke, the State is broke and the politicians that got us here want to spend billions on a system that like all other public mass transit systems in the WORLD will not be self sufficient and needs to be subsidized by the government! Will this cycle ever end?

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