San Francisco, Calif., January 27, 2010 – Californians For High Speed Rail, a statewide grassroots coalition of high speed rail supporters, welcomed the announcement Tuesday evening from the White House that California will receive $2.25 billion in federal stimulus money for high speed rail.
“This is encouraging news for California’s economic recovery and our future prosperity,” said Brian Stanke, Executive Director of Californians For High Speed Rail. “The federal government has made its down payment on high speed rail here in California. We expect that this will be just the first of many such announcements over the coming decade as we build high speed rail.”
The federal government announced that California will receive $2.25 billion in stimulus funds for work on four segments of the high speed rail project: San Francisco to San Jose, Merced to Fresno, Fresno to Bakersfield, and Los Angeles to Anaheim. In addition, $99.4 million will be spent to upgrade existing passenger rail service along the Capitol Corridor between San Jose and Sacramento and the Pacific Surfliners in between Santa Barbara and San Diego.
“When California voters approved Proposition 1A in November 2008, it made high speed rail a reality,” said Robert Cruickshank, Chairman of Californians For High Speed Rail. “The federal government has rewarded that support with this significant commitment of funds. We need to ensure that these funds get out the door as quickly as possible to get the high speed rail project under construction and meet federal stimulus deadlines. These funds will help create desperately needed jobs across California, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and address the climate crisis while building a sustainable transportation network that saves Californians money. I can’t imagine a better way to get California moving again.”
Building on the momentum of stimulus funding, Californians For High Speed Rail plans to continue lobbying for more federal funding to complete the high speed rail project. “California is eligible for some of the $2.5 billion Congress appropriated last month for high speed rail, and we plan to lobby to convince the Administration to release these funds quickly,” said Mr. Stanke “Congress also needs to ensure that the jobs bill under consideration includes several billion more for high speed rail in the near term. Additionally, we urge California’s Congressional delegation to ensure the next transportation bill is passed this year and that it includes a sustainable, long-term funding source for high speed rail projects.”
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