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Wed May 7, 2014, 08:23 PM

High-Speed Rail Authority approves Fresno-Bakersfield section

Source: The Fresno Bee

The California High-Speed Rail Authority approved the Fresno-to-Bakersfield section of its controversial bullet-train program -- the second section of what is planned to become the backbone of a statewide passenger train system.

The agency's board, meeting Wednesday in Fresno, voted to approve two separate actions for the 114-mile route.

Board members first certified the final 20,000-page version of its environmental impact report, intended to analyze how building and operating the rail system would affect homes, businesses, farms and wildlife habitat in the region between proposed stations in downtown Fresno and downtown Bakersfield, and detail how the agency will make up for those effects.

EARLIER STORY: High-speed rail plan attracts foes, supporters at Fresno hearing

Moments later, the board took a second vote, this time to approve the rail project and the preferred route from downtown Fresno to the northern outskirts of Bakersfield. That route generally runs near the existing BNSF Railway freight tracks, now shared by Amtrak passenger grains, between Fresno and Bakersfield.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/05/07/3914799/high-speed-rail-board-approves.html?sp=/99/406/#storylink=cpy


Read more: http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/05/07/3914799/high-speed-rail-board-approves.html?sp=/99/406/



WooHoo!!!!!!!!

15 replies, 1650 views

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply High-Speed Rail Authority approves Fresno-Bakersfield section (Original post)
Le Taz Hot May 2014 OP
NYC_SKP May 2014 #1
Tikki May 2014 #2
okaawhatever May 2014 #3
bananas May 2014 #4
Le Taz Hot May 2014 #6
allan01 May 2014 #5
savalez May 2014 #7
americannightmare May 2014 #8
Massacure May 2014 #9
Throd May 2014 #10
taught_me_patience May 2014 #11
Le Taz Hot May 2014 #12
Throd May 2014 #13
Xithras May 2014 #14
miyazaki May 2014 #15

Response to Le Taz Hot (Original post)

Wed May 7, 2014, 08:25 PM

1. This is huge. I have been a supporter of HSR forever.

 

I'll be in Fresno soon!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Wed May 7, 2014, 08:46 PM

2. YAY...I have, also.

This is so progressive and important for California.


Tikki

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Original post)

Wed May 7, 2014, 08:46 PM

3. K & R nt

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Original post)

Wed May 7, 2014, 08:51 PM

4. "The rail board hopes to begin construction work on the Fresno-Bakersfield section by mid-2015."

Finally!

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Response to bananas (Reply #4)

Wed May 7, 2014, 08:55 PM

6. These are DESPERATELY needed jobs.

Our unemployment rate is currently 13.8% and that's down from the crash when we were over 18%. We were one of the highest in the nation at one point.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Original post)

Wed May 7, 2014, 08:55 PM

5. re:High-Speed Rail Authority approves Fresno-Bakersfield section

makes hand into fist and pulls back elbow , YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!! victory over the idots who want to defeat this , and keep ca in the stone age. now if only we can get the northen extension built and pushed through LIVERMORMORE who is blocking this and bart . would love to see bart into modessto,

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Original post)

Wed May 7, 2014, 09:45 PM

7. Awesome news. n/t

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Original post)

Wed May 7, 2014, 10:41 PM

8. Keep that forward momentum,

California! The Chinese are already way ahead of us in this realm.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Original post)

Thu May 8, 2014, 10:35 AM

9. 20,000 page report???

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Original post)

Thu May 8, 2014, 10:55 AM

10. 100+ billion dollar boondoggle

They are desperate to lay some track for this turd so they can say "See? It's too late to stop now!"

California has infrastructure needs, but this is a bad idea. The money would be better spent elsewhere.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Original post)

Thu May 8, 2014, 11:21 AM

11. My support for this project has gone from enthusiastic to hell no

 

Why waste all this money connecting two shitty cities in the middle of nowhere? Nobody is going to ride this POS. How about starting with a rail line from downtown San Diego to downtown Los Angeles in 45 min?

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Response to taught_me_patience (Reply #11)

Thu May 8, 2014, 11:32 AM

12. It's the second "leg"

and, as a person from one of those "shitty cities" I say stick it where the sun don't shine. I could give you a myriad of reasons why it SHOULD be between "those two shitty cities" but I find it's a waste of time to try to explain logic to bigots.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #12)

Thu May 8, 2014, 12:18 PM

13. It doesn't pencil out.

The feasibilty case presented by the High Speed Rail Authority is built on a foundation of unicorn farts and pixie dust.

BTW, I love the Central Valley.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Original post)

Thu May 8, 2014, 12:21 PM

14. I can't believe they're still doing this. It's idiotic.

Basically, the courts have said that they're not allowed to have the bond money because the current project no longer matches what the original ballot measure promised. The HSR authority has admitted publicly that it cannot build the system that the voters actually wanted, but it wants the money anyway so that it can build something else. The courts, correctly, have stated that this isn't legal.

The HSR authority has still has $3.8 billion in federal matching funds that were given to the state by Congress. ALL of the planning and initial construction will use these matching funds since the state funds are unavailable (and potentially may remain so for years, as it's looking more and more like this case may end up in the Supreme Court's lap). They are blindly and optimistically assuming that the state funds will be available at some point, and are running off the federal dollars.

If the courts rule that the state cannot take the money from the failed bond plan and apply it to a different project, the state of California will be on the hook to the feds and will have to pay every dime of that money back out of the general fund. That money will come out of our school and road budgets. They are, in effect, gambling with the state budget.

The worst part is that, even if they do manage to get the money, it will only build the first section in the Valley. Polling has consistently shown that support for the project has evaporated among Californian's. 70% of the states voters want a second vote on the project. A majority want it stopped outright. Even high profile Democratic party leaders like Gavin Newsom have pulled their support for it, saying that the voters are being defrauded.

The project will need nearly $70 billion in funding just to build the basics and get the system operational. The voters only approved $10 billion in funding for the project. In order to finish it, the state will need to go back to the voters to ask for another $60 billion in bonds, and all indicators suggest that additional bond measures for the project have almost no chance of being succesful. So at the end of it all, if they manage to get their hands on the $10 billion already approved, this will simply end up being a very expensive (and redundant) freight rail line.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #14)

Thu May 8, 2014, 03:57 PM

15. Good to see some levity

California being the biggest, bureaucratic, bungholed state there is, I can't even imagine the fraud with this project.

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