CA Gov ask for state funds for high speed rail
During the campaign season and after, Obama made some impressive speeches about high speed rail. (For my story, see:
Now, California Governor Schwarzenegger is having his own high speed rail dream, and asking for federal dollars to enact it. Of course not only will such a high speed rail as the Governor proposed - to run from San Diego to San Francisco in 40 minutes - increase speed and ease of transportation for the state, but will create jobs as well:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger requested $4.7 billion in federal stimulus money Friday to help build an 800-mile bullet train system from San Diego to San Francisco.
The state's application for the grant calls for some $5 billion in state, local and private matching funds to help pay for the $45 billion project.
Schwarzenegger told a news conference at Los Angeles' Union Station that it was time for U.S. rail networks to achieve speeds reached by systems in Europe and Asia.
"We're traveling on our trains at the same speed as 100 years ago," the governor said. "That is inexcusable. America must catch up."
Planners said the train would be able to travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco in two hours and 40 minutes, traveling at speeds of more than 200 miles per hour.
California voters approved issuing $9.95 billion in bonds to fund high-speed rail construction in November.
The application filed Friday seeks more than half of an $8 billion pot of stimulus money set aside for high-speed rail development across the country.
Schwarzenegger said California deserved such a large chunk because it is farther along in planning than other states and is ready to break ground in 2011, a year earlier than federal guidelines call for.
California High Speed Rail Authority officials said the train network would generate 600,000 construction-related jobs while it was being planned and built and that it would create another 450,000 permanent jobs during its operation.