Anaheim Back in the High Speed Rail Plan
Responding to concerns from Orange County elected officials, the California High Speed Rail Authority included language committing to a single-seat ride from San Francisco to Anaheim as part of the new business plan they adopted at yesterday’s meeting. From an Authority press release:
The California High-Speed Rail Authority approved the Revised 2012 Business Plan at their April 12 meeting, adding language affirming that Anaheim will continue to be a part of the high-speed rail system and committing that the Authority will work to identify an alternative that will provide a one-seat ride from San Francisco into Anaheim.
CHSRA Chair Dan Richard gave credit to civic and business leaders in Orange County, who came forward with a proposal for a lower-cost way to serve Anaheim with a one-seat ride. In particular, the Orange County Business Council, supported by US Rep. Loretta Sanchez, State Senator Lou Correa, and State Assembly Member Jose Solorio, emphasized the critical need for full high-speed rail service to Anaheim.
“Once again, some of the best ideas in our revised business plan have come from the communities themselves,” Richard said. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with the leaders in Orange County to make sure Anaheim will receive one-seat high-speed rail service. Put more simply, it is our intention to provide one-seat service to both Los Angeles and Anaheim by 2028.”
The Authority Board directed staff to work collaboratively with the regional agencies, including OCTA, LA Metro and BNSF, to identify an alignment that can connect San Francisco to Anaheim, using a one-seat ride, at a lower cost.
“We want to provide connectivity, but we also need to ensure the project is cost effective,” Richard said. “We believe we can do it – but only through coordinated efforts with our regional partners in Southern California.”
I’m all in favor of this. Orange County, with 3 million people, deserves a high speed rail connection as soon as is practical and feasible. The Authority was always planning to deliver HSR service to Orange County, and this decision shows they are serious about that commitment.