State Expects To Score Federal Stimulus Dollars For High Speed Rail

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, April 16, 2009

State officials say California will be the first in line to get federal money for high speed rail service.   President Obama says he’s setting aside eight-billion dollars in the federal economic stimulus package for rail networks nationwide. 
David Crane is Governor Schwarzenegger’s economics advisor.  He was at The White House when President Obama announced the plan today (Thursday, 4.16).     Crane says it’s uncertain exactly how much federal money California will receive, but he says it will help get the state’s project started sooner… 
“Construction could begin as early as fall of next year.  And, it will not just go into planning, California is too far ahead in that process.  It would go to engineering, environmental process and then ultimately construction…”
California still has to apply for the federal funds.  The Executive Director of California’s High Speed Rail system says it will create 300-thousand jobs.  He says the project will cost 40-billion dollars when completed.   Voters approved ten-billion in start-up funds last year.  The first leg of the statewide rail network will open between San Francisco and San Jose.  Eventually it will connect Los Angeles to The Bay Area and Sacramento.