Private sector ideas, financing, development sought for high-speed rail in California

June 28, 2015

One of the chief criticisms leveled at the California High-Speed Rail Authority over the past couple of years has been the lack of private-sector investment in its ambitious statewide bullet-train program. Those investments were promised to voters in Proposition 1A to make up about one-third of the money needed to build the system.

But that was when the cost for the program was projected at about $43 billion for a system to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles by way of the San Joaquin Valley. Now, the forecast is about $68 billion to reach downtown San Francisco and downtown Los Angeles. The agency has about $6 billion available to build about 120-130 miles of the line in Fresno, Kings, Madera, Tulare and Kern counties — a combination of about $3 billion in federal stimulus and transportation funds and about $3 billion from Prop. 1A, the $9.9 billion high-speed rail bond measure approved by California voters in 2008.

Beyond that, however, there is nary a private-sector dollar in sight.

Read the full story by Tim Sheehan complete with charts and illustrations in The Fresno Bee by clicking here.

 

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