SACRAMENTO /California Newswire/ — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday announced that California has been awarded more than $2.3 billion of the $8 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment (Recovery Act) funding President Obama made available to states nationally for high-speed intercity rail – more funding than any other state in the nation. Government, labor, business and environmental leaders throughout California united in support of the state’s proposal because it will create jobs and stimulate our economy while laying the foundation for California’s 21st century transportation system and improving our mobility, quality of life and environment. The building of the Anaheim-to-San Francisco high-speed train system is estimated to bring up to 600,000 jobs throughout every region of California.
“State leaders fought hard for this investment because it means jobs, jobs, jobs for Californians,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Thanks to our leading high-speed rail plan and the Obama Administration’s investment, we will be able to create jobs, stimulate our economy and be home to the first true high-speed rail system to break ground in the nation. California’s leaders came together to support and submit one high-speed rail proposal and because of that, $2.3 billion will now flow into the California economy.”
California submitted a proposal for the only true high-speed train in the nation, capable of 200-plus miles per hour, and is further along in planning than any other state. When the full system is built it will stretch close to 800 miles, from Sacramento to San Diego.
With the passage of Proposition 1A in November 2008, California voters provided a $9.95 billion bond-funded down payment for high-speed rail in California. In August 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 3034 replacing Proposition 1 with Proposition 1A on the November 2008 ballot. The measure improved the High-Speed Train Bond Act by providing increased taxpayer protections and fiscal controls.
Benefits of Investing in California High-Speed Rail
· The federal government designated funding for High-Speed Rail – and California proposed the only true high-speed train capable of 200-plus miles per hour – and is further along in planning than any other similar project in the nation.
o In California when we say “high-speed trains,” we truly mean high speed – up to 220 mph – not improving existing, non high-speed rail lines like other states have proposed.
o Planning and engineering work for our 800-mile system has been ongoing for over 13 years.
o Significant environmental review work has already been completed.
o California’s proposed system already has the support of its local governments, regional transportation agencies and the legislature.
· Californians voted to put $9.95 billion in bond funding toward the effort. No other state in the nation brings this level of investment to the table. California voters approved Proposition 1A, the $9.95 billion high-speed rail bond, in November 2008. In August 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 3034 replacing Proposition 1 with Proposition 1A on the November 2008 ballot. The measure improved the High-Speed Train Bond Act by providing increased taxpayer protections and fiscal controls.
· Labor, business, environmental and government leaders across the state united in support of California’s proposal because it would lay the foundation for California’s 21st century transportation system, create jobs and improve our mobility, quality of life and environment.
o Voters said “yes” to a ballot initiative to put $9.95 billion toward high-speed rail.
o Legislators support high-speed rail, voting to put the bond issue on the ballot.
o Labor leaders know this historic investment in infrastructure will mean quality construction and related jobs.
o Business groups, including chambers of commerce, understand the need to maintain and improve mobility in California to support our economy – which is the 8th-largest in the world.
o Environmentalists rally behind this clean mode of transportation, which is responsible for just a third of the greenhouse gases of airplanes and a fifth of that of automobiles. California’s high-speed train system will run on 100 percent renewable energy and will take 12 billion pounds of GHGs out of the environment annually.
o Local governments are vying for the train to bring jobs and intermodal links to their communities.
Recovery Act Funding for California: $2.344 Billion Total
· $2.25 billion for work that will include purchasing right-of-way, constructing track, signaling systems, stations, completing environmental reviews and engineering documents.
· $51 million for construction of new tracks and crossovers that will improve on-time performance and ultimately allow for top speeds of 110 mph on the route connecting Los Angeles and San Diego.
· $23 million for constructing four new station tracks at San Jose Diridon Station to almost double the capacity of the station and a universal crossover between Davis and Sacramento, which will reduce trip times and improve on-time performance.
· $20 million in Recovery Act grants that will fund upgrades to the trains’ emissions control equipment, reducing pollution.