CA4HSR Opposes Last-Minute Effort to Shift HSR Funds Out of Central Valley

Legislators Risk Losing Hard-Fought Improvements in Los Angeles and San Francisco Regions

San Francisco, CA, June 24, 2012 – Californians For High Speed Rail (CA4HSR), a grassroots, statewide coalition of HSR supporters, expressed alarm at the creation of a “Plan B” to shift significant high-speed rail (HSR) funding out of Central Valley as reported in a June 23 Los Angeles Times article.

“CA4HSR is alarmed that some in the state senate, whose districts are already slated to receive large investments in rail projects using HSR funds, would risk these investments by demanding yet more funds at the expense of the Central Valley,” said Daniel Krause, executive director of CA4HSR. “We strongly urge the California’s State Senate to vote ‘yes’ on Governor Brown’s existing plan without delay. It is a plan that will benefit millions now while jumpstarting true high-speed rail in the state.”

For the following reasons, CA4HSR strongly and unequivocally opposes any efforts to drastically alter the current project structure or to reduce Central Valley funding:

  • Risks Killing Early Rail Investments: Plan risks critical early investments planned for Caltrain and Metrolink by directly challenging the Governor’s commitment to balance investments in the Los Angeles and San Francisco bookends AND the Central Valley.
  • Risks Losing $3.3 billion in Federal Funds: The introduction of Plan B at the eleventh hour threatens $3.3 billion in federal HSR funding by demonstrating a lack of commitment to constructing a full-speed HSR infrastructure.
  • Undermines Revised Business Plan: The entire structure of the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s Revised Business Plan, now based on a dual strategy of investing in a large trunk line in the Central Valley and the early improvements in the urban bookends, would be undermined.
  • Risks Losing Urgency to Build HSR: If most HSR funds are channeled toward commuter rail project upgrades locally, politicians may lose the urgency and focus to go back and fight for real HSR and the funding need for it.

“While CA4HSR fully supports current plans for early investment in the bookends, we strongly believe that the intent of Proposition 1A is to ensure that a true HSR system is fully realized in California. It is essential we demonstrate our commitment to high-speed rail by kick-starting construction of over 100 miles of track in Central Valley without delay,” Daniel Krause added.

 

About Californians For High Speed Rail

Californians For High Speed Rail (CA4HSR) is a grassroots, statewide coalition of high speed rail supporters advocating for the high speed rail project approved by California voters in November 2008. Founded in 2005, we exist to educate, inform, and organize Californians about ways they can help make high speed rail a reality in the Golden State. Additionally, CA4HSR also encourages sustainable development of the high speed rail (HSR) system, promotes the building of HSR stations in city centers, transit-oriented developments, as well as developing/improving feeder transit systems. Visit us at: www.ca4hsr.org.

Media Contact:  

Sharon Sim-Krause

Californians For High Speed Rail

sharon@ca4hsr.org

415.420.1889