California Legislature on Verge of Securing HSR’s Future

Jun 12th, 2014 | Posted by

For five and a half years now, since California voters passed Prop 1A, the California High Speed Rail Authority has been searching for the rest of the money they needed to build the project. In 2009 it looked like the federal government would be the answer, and President Barack Obama gave $8 billion for HSR around the country as a downpayment.

But in 2010 the Republicans seized power in the House and have blocked any new funding for HSR – while trying to stop states from spending the stimulus money they were already given. This threw future federal funding in doubt, and without that, it threw the future of the California HSR project into doubt.

In turn, that led HSR opponents in California to attack the project in court, scoring a victory last fall when a Sacramento Superior Court judge said the Prop 1A bonds couldn’t be sold because the state lacked a financing plan for the rest of the route – thanks to Congressional Republican opposition.

So for the project to proceed, California has to go it alone, not relying on new federal money. The cap-and-trade funds are the key. And today we’ve learned that Governor Jerry Brown and state legislative leaders have reached a deal that gives 25% of the cap-and-trade funds to high speed rail:

Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders have agreed to a proposal to use 25 percent of future cap-and-trade revenue – money polluters pay to offset carbon emissions – to provide ongoing funding for construction of California’s high-speed rail project, according to part of a budget deal legislators will consider Thursday, sources said.

That 25% is less than the 33% the Governor had proposed, but it’s almost surely a number that will make him happy. Senator Darrell Steinberg’s office has estimated the state could make as much as $3 billion to $5 billion a year soon on cap-and-trade auctions. That means HSR could see $750 million to $1.25 billion a year.

And that in turn is certainly enough for the state to borrow against, whether via a revenue bond or a federal RRIF loan, to help finance construction of the Initial Operating Segment from Merced to Los Angeles (or, less likely, Bakersfield to the Bay Area).

The deal will be voted on no later than Sunday, which is the constitutional deadline to pass a budget. I don’t expect there to be any changes; once leadership negotiates a budget deal the rest of the troops fall in line.

So this is perhaps the best news California HSR has had in over five years. Once this budget passes, the lingering questions about the project’s financial future will, in part, be answered. There’s still more money to be found to finish the whole route from LA to SF. But once an Initial Operating Segment is opened, private money can come in as well, which helps close the remaining gap.

This is huge and exciting news. Kudos to the Governor and the Legislature in getting this done!

  1. Dennis Lytton
    Jun 12th, 2014 at 11:04
    #1

    In July of 2012 we got funded in the state budget off course when which I think required 2/3rds back then if I’m remembering right. So that was kind of dicey. But off course this is great news. Now we just need a dedicated source for HSR and intercity passenger rail in general from Congress. With the current Tea-Party-beat-Eric-Cantor crew in charge however that doesn’t seem likely. Sill, I’m hoping for an upset in November.

    Zorro Reply:

    Of course now Cantor is now gone and they want a rabid bagger, but there is a Democrat by the name of Jack Trammel running for Cantors old office, considering how little support the baggers get from the general population, the Virginia general election may be interesting. In the US Senate there is Alison Grimes(Democrat) running against the unpopular Mitch McConnell(Republican-VA/obstructionist supreme) that people want to ditch.

    Zorro Reply:

    McConnell is actually in Kentucky, My bad.

  2. Alan
    Jun 12th, 2014 at 13:12
    #2

    The legislators met Jerry more than halfway between their 15% and his 33%. Probably his strategy all along…

    Very good news!

    Robert Cruickshank Reply:

    Agreed.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Basically, the deal flips the Senate Plan’s allocations for transit and HSR.

    Emmanuel Reply:

    Although 33% would have been nice, too.

    Alan Reply:

    Well certainly it would, but this is a lot more than we had a few days ago. And if the projections of future cap-and-trade revenues are correct, it will go a long way.

  3. Tony D.
    Jun 12th, 2014 at 13:15
    #3

    Wow! This thing just might actually get built. Who would have thought just one year ago (yes, count me as one of those who were saying “this thing is dead!”). Now, let’s get those funds for Caltrain electrification!

    jimsf Reply:

    I knew california democrats would find a way to get this built. It was inevitable.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Too bad the solution is higher gas prices that drive down interest in local travel and weaken the economy in places that already rely on low paying tourist jobs for a larger share of the the workforce.

    Derek Reply:

    That’s why we need to get out of the fossil fuel economy.

    Alan Reply:

    The cap-and-trade law and its revenue aren’t going away, and if cap-and-trade really will cause a rise in gas prices, it will happen regardless of how the revenue is used. Might as well make sure that we have a share for HSR.

    Zorro Reply:

    Gasoline/Diesel prices are effected by the rise and fall of world oil prices by the oil market, not by cap and trade.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    But dependency on low gas prices due to a tourist economy addicted to driving means they are already suffering, as gas prices are at present what would have been gas price shock levels in the mid-80′s to mid-Noughties. And given the decline in the share of world oil production that is viable to produce at $1 gallon crude oil, we aren’t going back to a $2 gallon before tax price for gasoline anytime soon.

    This is the problem of any junkie when the pushers are pushing up street price because the whole price from the international drug cartels have been pushed up. The long term sustainable solution is to kick the addiction.

    The direct way to have the automotive system to pay for its addictiveness is to include a sufficient amount of gasoline tax to provide sufficient local and intercity alternative transport that the large majority of state residents have a real, viable alternative for the large majority of trips.

    By contrast to that direct way of paying for its addictiveness, only paying a minority of cap and trade tax receipts for a cap and trade set with an excessively generous cap is getting off easy.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    …or…we stimulate the adoption of electric cars and plug in hybrids…

  4. Larry Scheib
    Jun 12th, 2014 at 15:19
    #4

    Yes, Tutor please start digging!, before a meteor strikes the planet or tsunami wipes out the valley.

  5. Roger Christensen
    Jun 12th, 2014 at 15:32
    #5

    Yahoo! Looking forward to that IOS to Somewhere in LA County.

  6. Jos Callinet
    Jun 12th, 2014 at 16:46
    #6

    I’m probably not the first person to think of this name for the GOP – but here goes, anyway! I hereby name it “The RepubliCAN’T Party” – ‘coz they CAN’T say YES to anything remotely progressive like HSR!

    They’ve firmly established themselves as the party of “NO!” and “We CAN’T and WON’T” (vote for anything you on the other side of the aisle want passed). Same goes for defeated House majority leader Eric CAN’Tor.

    What’s next on the non-agenda of the party of NO?

  7. Jos Callinet
    Jun 12th, 2014 at 17:00
    #7

    The next time there’s a revolt against Tea in this country, it won’t be cartons of Earl Gray being tossed overboard into Boston Harbor!

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Jos: Earl Gray tea did not appear until the 1800s. Perhaps it was tea recovered from Boston Harbour, salt water, not Bergamot as flavoring?

    Neville Snark Reply:

    Please. ‘Earl Grey’, not ‘Earl Gray’.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    I beg his 2nd lordship’s pardon…..

  8. Observer
    Jun 12th, 2014 at 17:11
    #8

    25% of Cap & Trade for HSR: yes, go, right on. Now was that so hard. Funding can now be obtained, and construction can actually start, and progress beyond the first 30 mile segment. Private sector funding will slowly begin to enter the picture. This will prove that California does not live in the past like some critics would like.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Given the way the capn-and-trade money is being wasted, I’d say California is moving fast into the future, with its higher temperatures, higher sea levels, and climate refugees.

    nslander Reply:

    “Given the way the capn-and-trade money is being wasted, I’d say California is moving fast into the future, with its higher temperatures, higher sea levels, and climate refugees.”

    Because applying CA cap and trade revenue at 100% carbon reduction efficiency will stabilize the sea level? The cynicism has got to be exhausting.

    joe Reply:

    Too bad the facts contradict this cheap attack. CA will meet the 2020 emission targets. Californian’s will benefit from lower emissions and cap and trade policies.

    And of course the scientific consensus is that warming will be more pronounced at the higher latitudes. You’re at what? 49 deg Lat? We’re 37 Deg.

    jimsf Reply:

    is this going to raise gas prices? if yes then im against it.
    cant we tax weed and cigarettes to pay for this instead?

    joe Reply:

    The alternative to cap and trade was to jack up the gasoline tax.
    http://la.streetsblog.org/2014/02/21/carbon-tax-vs-cap-and-trade/

    And yes we should legalize and tax weed, Swedish fish and licorice.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5P1SzaJ3jk

    Eric Reply:

    the federal gas tax still needs to go up.

    Zorro Reply:

    That won’t happen with a Repub/bagger controlled House of Representatives.

    jimsf Reply:

    That won’t happen because voters would fire anyone who raised it.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Please adjust your digs at my location. Next month I’m moving to Stockholm for a job. So that’s 59 degrees rather than 49.

    On the other hand, while Canada is the home of Stephen Harper, Sweden is the home of the $140/t-CO2 carbon tax, thanks to which its per-capita emissions are among the lowest in the developed world.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    On the other hand, while Canada is the home of Stephen Harper, Sweden is the home of the $140/t-CO2 carbon tax, thanks to which its per-capita emissions are among the lowest in the developed world.

    They’d've been low anyhow, their electric sector was 95% hydro and nuclear (both carbon free) in 1990. Now it’s 83% plus another 6% wind. When it comes to gasoline, their carbon tax is dwarfed by the other fuel taxes.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I could point out that since 1990, Sweden’s reduction in CO2/GDP has been faster than that of nearly all other developed countries… but although technically true, it’s by a small margin.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    But but but? Where is the Swedish 350kmh HSR?

    A country or a state within a country can’t possibly reduce carbon emissions without throwing hundreds of billions of dollars/euros/kronor at a pure welfare program for corrupt civil engineers consultants, can it?

    Alon Levy Reply:

    They’re trying! They just realized they can’t possibly justify building an entirely greenfield line to full HSR specs – they’re such a porcine capitalist country everything there is about cost-benefit calculations, or something. The research into the possibility of 350 km/h tilting trains there is precisely so that they could run trains fast on upgraded legacy lines, or greenfield lines with design compromises.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    They did build this though green fields recently for mixed traffic
    http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botniabanan
    Route design speed 250kmh, little top speed running in practice because that’s not the point.

    EJ Reply:

    They’re a (geographically) large country with a small population, less than 10 MM, concentrated in the south of the country. Add the population of Norway and you’ve got around 15 MM people. If you can hit 200 km/h on legacy track, seems to me it would be difficult to justify building a lot of 320 km/h infrastructure to serve such a sparse population.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Yep. Sweden also has an atrocious population distribution for rail, since Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Malmö can’t be put on one line. Stockholm-Malmö-Copenhagen gets a bit more interesting, but frankly, we’re talking two metro areas each with somewhat lower population than Sacramento; there’s only so much ridership they’d generate.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    But it’s bigger than Salt Lake City… and about as far away from anything else.

    Emmanuel Reply:

    They’ve been low without the tax. As far as I know Sweden’s renewable energy share is 48%. The other 35% is nuclear. That doesn’t leave much for fossil fuels.

    John Burrows Reply:

    And at 113 tons per capita, the undisputed 2011 winner of the global CO2 emissions contest is Wyoming.

    Unless Wikipedia made a typo, Wyoming produces more than double the per capita CO2 emissions of any of the other states, and for that matter more than double the emissions of any country anywhere in the world—A side effect of a coal based economy.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Instead of shipping the coal out of state they ship the electricity.

    Zorro Reply:

    BNSF and/or UPRR ships a good amount of coal for export into California, I’ve seen it a lot.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    WY ships about 1 million tons a day from the PRB. Very little goes west. There is very limited port capacity for exports.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Partly because it’s cheaper to ship the electricity west than it is to ship the coal and make the electricity locally.

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    Except they don’t do that. Where are all these power plants in WY that you are imagining?

    jonathan Reply:

    There isn’t enough transmission capacity between the large-scale regions. Bruce McF has a good piece on that on his Daily-Kos “Sunday Train’. It’s aimed more at harvesting wind power, and ho transmitting it between said regions would tend to even out availability and use.

    yes, there is limited port capacity in California. But isn’t most of the coal which does get railed here, get exported?

    Paul Dyson Reply:

    It is such a small amount compared to what moves to domestic power plants. The only port handling export coal in CA is Stockton which is limited to Handy Max ships or light loaded Panamax with about 35,000mt.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    More or less at the mouths of the coal mines which is one of the reasons why people in Wyoming generate so much CO2, they are shipping electricity instead of shipping coal.

    joe Reply:

    http://www.eia.gov/state/analysis.cfm?sid=WY
    The industrial sector uses more than half of all energy consumed in the state, and the transportation sector consumes nearly one-fourth, giving Wyoming the highest per-capita energy usage of any state and making it among the most energy-intensive state economies.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    And from the same page “Wyoming sends nearly two-thirds of the electricity it produces to nearby states.”. Instead of shipping the coal they are shipping the electricity.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    What Adi said. Wyoming’s emissions fuel consumption in more populated parts of the US.

    It’s similar to how Chinese emissions (partly) fuel consumption in richer countries, which it exports goods to.

    jimsf Reply:

    the solution to the effects of climate change, realistically, are adaptation procedures. No amount of human intervention will be enough, when in fact, one big volcano can, in an instant, void human efforts. Better to make adjustments as needed shoring up coastlines, and making investments in water delivery infrastructure.

    Also, its not the planet we have to worry about. The planet doesn’t need saving as it will survive just about anything. Humans are the ones who will need to adjust.

    Derek Reply:

    one big volcano can, in an instant, void human efforts.

    False.

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Eh, to be fair, Yosemite probably totally could. Though I imagine that between the actual effects of it and the second order effects, human GHG emissions would free fall.

    Zorro Reply:

    Huh? Since when is Yosemite a volcano? Don’t you mean Yellowstone?

    Paul Druce Reply:

    Yosemite, Yellowstone, meh, they’re both up north.

    Zorro Reply:

    Yellowstone is a Caldera, a volcanic crater of a super volcano.

    Yosemite is a Granite valley.

    There is a difference.

    joe Reply:

    Very different parks but I misspeak those two park names all the time. Good to see it’s not just me.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    And, to be fair, he did say “one big volcano”, which in normal use means ANY big volcano and is both a quite often repeated and quite false claim. Modern human activity is the annual equivalent of dozens of big volcanoes, so certainly several “big” volcanoes worth.

    Heck, we could take the equivalent of one big volcano out of our annual carbon emissions and still be on track for climate catastrophe.

    It would certainly be true for the massively less frequent so-called “supervolcanoes” with eruptions as much as a thousand times the typical volcanic eruption … but that’s akin (but far more extreme) to saying “a 90lb kid could beat him”, when the 90lb kid you have in mind is a golden gloves 16yr old 90lb champion.

    Observer Reply:

    Just a thought, now that HSR will have Cap & trade funds, is it also possible to obtain a loan from foreign sources such as Japan or China, or even Europe?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    If you buy their trains, they offer great financing.

    Andy M Reply:

    A foreign loan often means borrowing in a foreign currency and thus exposing yourself to exchange rate uncertainties

    Max Wyss Reply:

    However, there are facilities to take care of such risks; it is up to negociations.

  9. Jos Callinet
    Jun 12th, 2014 at 17:14
    #9

    Upon further reflection, the GOP has officially become “THE REFUSAL PARTY.”

    Zorro Reply:

    I think that’s a given.

  10. RubberToe
    Jun 12th, 2014 at 17:34
    #10

    Thank God there is finally dedicated yearly funding! The last remaining roadblock seems to be the lawsuit that had a basis of “there is no clear source of funding…”, well now there is. I wonder if they will still hold off on the groundbreaking and actual construction until that lawsuit is settled, or just start anyway and get things underway?

    RT

    P.S. A tremendous victory for the entire State of California. Let the construction begin!

    Observer Reply:

    Also, a tremendous victory for the fight against climate change; get cars off the road, people out of airplanes – good for the environment.

    jonathan Reply:

    RubberToe:

    No, there’s also the lawsuit over the fact that CHSRA’s own estimates show that CHSRA’s route cannot meet the times required by Prop 1A.

    The only way that CHSRA could even come *close* was to redo the simulation, assuming the ~billion-dollar viaduct in San Jose, into the (wholly unnecessary) Rod Diridon Intergalacit Elevated HSR station. And even *then*, they couldn’t make it if the train had to actually *serve* the station, i.e.. slow to a stop so passengers could board or alight.

    Needless to say — but no, it needs to be said anyway, given certain regulars here: it is *totally* illegal to spend Prop 1A HSR dollars on the current “Blended” plan for the Peninsula. The proposed “Caltrain Modernization’ *cannot*, repeat *cannot* meet the requirements of Prop 1A. Even Joe’s beloved Peer Review Group notes that actual service times will be about 40 minutes.

    More, CHSRA”s claim is that their “blended” plan for the Peninsula meets Prop 1A’s service-time requirements for the Peninsula. Except.. that claim is based on a simulation. And the simulation — the published one, which differs from all the prior drafts obtained by CARRD — shows a fast, steady approach to Diridon Intergalactic. At speeds impossible for the current ROW. The only way to accomplish those speeds is to build the ~billion-dollar viaduct into the (unnecessary) separate-and-unequal upper track level of Diridon Intergalactic. But of course such a viaduct has *no funding plan* and *no EIR*. So it cannot legally be included in any run-time simulations for the *actual* project at hand. That kind of piecemeal sneaking-an-elephant-under-the-tent, piece by piece, is expressly forbidden by CEQA.

    CHSRA doesn’t have a funding plan for the viaduct, and doesn’t get an EIR for the viaduct. So they cannot include tie-savings from the viaduct in their stated “service time” for the Blended plan. That’s just *definitional*: such a viaduct is not a part of the plan. Which means we’re back to the prior version of PB’s simulation, the one which shows 110 mph trains not even coming close to 30 minutes.

    Even the so-called “Laurel and Hardy” lawyers can figure *that* one out.

    joe Reply:

    More, CHSRA”s claim is that their “blended” plan for the Peninsula meets Prop 1A’s service-time requirements for the Peninsula. Except.. that claim is based on a simulation. And the simulation — the published one, which differs from all the prior drafts obtained by CARRD — shows a fast, steady approach to Diridon Intergalactic. At speeds impossible for the current ROW. The only way to accomplish those speeds is to build the ~billion-dollar viaduct into the (unnecessary) separate-and-unequal upper track level of Diridon Intergalactic. But of course such a viaduct has *no funding plan* and *no EIR*. So it cannot legally be included in any run-time simulations for the *actual* project at hand. That kind of piecemeal sneaking-an-elephant-under-the-tent, piece by piece, is expressly forbidden by CEQA.

    CHSRA doesn’t have a funding plan for the viaduct, and doesn’t get an EIR for the viaduct. So they cannot include tie-savings from the viaduct in their stated “service time” for the Blended plan. That’s just *definitional*: such a viaduct is not a part of the plan. Which means we’re back to the prior version of PB’s simulation, the one which shows 110 mph trains not even coming close to 30 minutes.

    Even the so-called “Laurel and Hardy” lawyers can figure *that* one out.

    It’s a trap!! HSR can’t repel firepower of this magnitude!!
    Or maybe it’s just a tie fighter.

    The ace legal team that will derail HSR can be heard here arguing their lawsuit in appellate court.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twdcDrKBBVY

    I bet this performance is why the new EIR lawsuit is using new legal team from Hermosa Beach.

    Clem Reply:

    Please study the “iconic” viaduct plan in San Jose before claiming that it enables faster approach speeds. It consists of a 50 mph reverse curve. Does that make it an “ironic” viaduct?

    Lewellan Reply:

    How are your caltrans compatability studies doing lately, Clem? You’re the expert. I still believe Talgo XXI hybrid-type locomotives should not be ruled out, and assume their boarding height to platform isn’t compatable with new Caltrans coaches. And what about electrifying and using Altamont corridor?
    Not fast enough? Or, does the Altamont corridor have the same compatability issues?
    I can’t imagine passing up SanFran-to-Sacramento HSR. 200mph speeds and the 2hr 40min trip time was never been that important to me. A 5-hour trip with low-cost, low-impact infrastructure would be faster than no HSR. That’s been my position since 2008. Are there other Talgo-type hybrid locomotives/coaches that could be compatable to Caltrans. The Talgo ride is more comfortable than Acela coaches, but you knew that already.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Not many passengers get on the locomotive. The platform height isn’t that important for the locomotive.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Keep in mind that the dual power Talgos are a big waste of weight and train length. In Spain they sacrificed two cars for the diesel capability, and the speed with diesel power is nothing particular. Talgos do have a niche in High Speed traffic (Renfe and RZD know that), but this niche is very small (the main advantage for Renfe is the gauge changing capability, and RZD will eventually use that as well).

    Now, about your position on HSR. You are absolutely free to have this position. It simply contradicts the legal requirement for California HSR.

    Andy M. Reply:

    Dual diesel / electric talgos are mostly a waste of resources, especially seeing many are used on troutes that are largely electrified but just have a short section of legacy line at one end that isn’t. Consider Chinchilla to Cartagena for example. I think you can walk that faster that the train can do it.

    Talgos at their best, when they need to cross between electrified and non electrifed lines are when locomotives are used and these are changed over where the electrification ends. This has been done quite succesfully at Alicante for example for several decades. Non electrifed lines are tpically those with lower traffic, running through peripheral areas with low population density to serve some city that is getting a daily or so train service for political reasons rather than economical ones. Such lines are rarely suited for high speeds anyway so some legacy diesel locomotive can do the job just as well without requiring the comittal of some high tech equipment.

    As far as I know, talgos are presently the only locmotive hauled tilting trains. For a variety of reasons, they are well suited to economically bring comfortable service to peripheral and under-maintaned lines.

    swing hanger Reply:

    Peripheral and under-maintained- sounds like the ex-SP Coast Line, for a revived Coast Daylight service, where these types might actually be useful, not that UP would allow it.

    Alan Reply:

    There goes Jonny, writing between the lines of Prop 1A again, reading the law as he wishes it had been written, not as it really exists.

    There is NO requirement in the law that requires the CHSRA to prove the design by any certain method. In fact, there’s nothing in the law that requires the Authority to prove anything. Nothing in the law requires *anything* about simulations to appear in any funding plan.

    “CHSRA doesn’t have a funding plan for the viaduct, and doesn’t get an EIR for the viaduct. So they cannot include tie-savings from the viaduct in their stated “service time” for the Blended plan. ”

    That’s Jonny’s wet dream. Absolutely nothing in that statement is supported by the law.

    Zorro Reply:

    And that’s what He wishes people to believe, more FUD…

    Jos Callinet Reply:

    We still have to contend with reams of lawsuits that will be brought against the project from NIMBYS.

    Unless and until some clear resolution is made of all the legal and environmental objections and other forms of roadblocks that NIMBY communities and individuals all along the CAHSR route will – guaranteed – bring as lawsuits to obstruct the progress of this project, it seems very likely (to me anyway) that actual on-the-ground construction is still months, if not years, away from beginning.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    this is what I fear. They’re sniffed out flaws in the law that make it possible to do this.

  11. Observer
    Jun 12th, 2014 at 18:25
    #11

    Just speculating; but I wonder if Ray Lahood’s recent visit to California, and him talking about private investors being interested had anything to do with the Cap & Trade agreement? Could there possibly be something more out there?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Unlikely. I think Alstom is trying to get a train order. Money never sleeps.

  12. jimsf
    Jun 12th, 2014 at 19:34
    #12
  13. joe
    Jun 12th, 2014 at 21:00
    #13

    Kern Co wants the HSR maintenance facility and high paying obs.

    “The High Speed Rail Authority needs to look at the environmental impacts to downtown Bakersfield much more closely when they are selecting a route,” Scrivner said. “I think the High Speed Rail Authority should be selecting their heavy maintenance facility on the best cost and operationally.”

    Bringing the high-speed rail heavy maintenance facility to Kern County would have many benefits. There would be roughly 1,500 high-paying jobs and an estimated infusion of $250 million annually to the local economy.

    The cities of Shafter and Wasco are two of at least one dozen communities vying for the prize.

    http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/Lawsuits-wont-affect-bid-for-High-Speed-repair-yard-262798211.html

    ?

  14. Clem
    Jun 12th, 2014 at 22:08
    #14

    What this does is open up the chess board a bit and prevent the impending check-mate by CEQA and taxpayer lawsuits around Prop 1A bond funds.

    What this does [u]not[/u] do is complete the financing package for the IOS–never mind a commercially viable Bay to Basin link. There are mountains to cross and we are still many, many billions short. The people of Palmdale (Center of the Universe) await.

    Meanwhile, innumeracy scores another victory!

    Ted Judah Reply:

    What is does is open the door to using the Cap and Trade money to match the ARRA funding and leave Prop 1a for another day. Given that RRIF funds could be used on the CalTrain ROW, IOS North could happen.

    Clem Reply:

    So awesome, I can’t wait to go to Bakersfield. Not!

    nslander Reply:

    Really?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Maybe not, but your employer and your neighbors’ employer are eager to buy land where it is cheaper and labor will work for non Silicon Valley wages. Please contain your derision.

    joe Reply:

    Exactly.

    jonathan Reply:

    No they aren’t, and no they won’t , because the people Silicon Valley companies want to hire, are in Siiicon Valley. “It’s just like being an actor and working in Holloywood”.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Google’s biggest office building/complex is in Manhattan.

    joe Reply:

    Hmmm
    Tesla’s added a facility in Lathrop CA, and possible a massive factory in CV CA if we’re lucky. The Lathrop facility has a rail link to the Fremont factory.

    Now we all know Gilroy sucks and isn’t SV yet within the small circle of people I meet with my 9 year old’s activities ; Two soccer dads on his small rec team are Google tech employees in Mountain View. The nice lady volunteering at his public school’s spouse is Google manager and another Dad of a boy in the class is retired from the the Google and takes his son to Gilroy’s crappy public schools in his Benz. Amazing coincidences.

    Not everyone worth hiring at Google and etc would prefer raising their family in an expensive shoe box complex or million dollar bungalow.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Your comparison to Hollywood is interesting gone the explosion in runaway production over the last ten years.

    Intel already has a big plant in Folsom, Chandler Arizona, and Hilsboro Oregon. Tech already has a wipe reach across the Western US and in Asia. The jobs you seem not to are about will go somewhere else and you can be the one to raise taxes even more to support the the 60% of California that is struggling to get by.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    when did they move Manhattan and Malta to “the West”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Forest_Technology_Campus

    … or there is life after Wintel..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_architecture

    “Globally, as of 2013, ARM is the most widely used 32-bit instruction set architecture in terms of quantity produced.”

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Intel is just an example of a Bay Area company that has campuses in other states that are predicated on flight times from Palo Alto. If you put Fresno an hour away too, expect to see investment. The alternative is letting Fresno’s economy keep deteriorating and have more refugees that land in the Bay Area Whig doesn’t have the resources to support them.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Fresno is three hour drive away.

    Joey Reply:

    And how many 32 bit CPUs did Intel ship this year?

    joe Reply:

    Putting Fresno on the HSR line is a BFD.

    As we all know it’s a difficult drive from Paly to Fresno which includes congested roads from Paly down to Gilroy, then a narrow two lane road east and over Pacheco pass. Scenic but for driving, Ugh.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    gawd only knows. There’s more to life than Windows 8

    Eric Reply:

    Intel also has big centers in India, Israel, Costa Rica and other countries that are not within easy flight time from their headquarters in Santa Clara (not Palo Alto). Mostly, they follow the talent.

    Joey Reply:

    Perhaps I should ask a more loaded question: How many of the CPUs Intel shipped this year were not 64 bit?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    It’s pretty surprising that so many people on this blog don’t understand why big firms invest and expand where they do. Manufactuers like Intel need cheap land; software designers pick places designers want to live. Meanwhile if you want more industries to flee California, don’t support HSR.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    They follow both the talent and the wages. The best Indian and Israeli programmers move to Silicon Valley to get paid Silicon Valley wages; the offshoring to Israel is so that Intel can pay half the wage it pays in the US, and the offshoring to India is for even lower wages.

    Eric Reply:

    As far as I have been able tell (working in the field with people from all three countries), tech wages are not much higher in Silicon Valley when you take cost of living into account. There are however more and more unique career opportunities.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    I want to say Israelis self-perceive as having very high costs of living… but realistically, their costs of living aren’t high by Bay Area standards.

    Lewellan Reply:

    Are any Bakerfield Station development designs available for viewing?
    I’ve been picturing a fabulous football arena/boutique tourist trap district,
    with specialty foods: corn dogs, sloppy joes, and PBR sports bar game watching.
    Game day excitement! Drunk sports fans! We’re number one! You’re not! ;^)

    Resident Reply:

    I believe the word your looking for is Ponzi Scheme

    Alan Reply:

    BENGHAZI! BENGHAZI!

    It’s amazing how people whine so much when there wasn’t a funding package put together, but now that the funding is starting to fall into place they’re still whining.

    BENGHAZI!

    nslander Reply:

    Well, use your head: CA is making this happen only by availing itself to its own version of cap and trade, which Bill Clinton had proposed in anticipation of Kyoto, Japan. Japan imports fish from Libya. Bill Clinton was, and still is, married to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was the US Secretary of State who covertly coordinated the attack on the US embassy in…….

    Alan Reply:

    LOL! Exactly! It’s Hillary’s fault!

    Zorro Reply:

    US Embassy Security funding was cut by the Republican Party in the House of Representatives (Where all appropriations bills must come from according to the US Constitution) intentionally to make another manufactured crisis aimed at the POTUS who just happens to be Black and who beat them twice. Former SoS Hilary Clinton had nothing to do with said crisis and it’s in the Congressional testimony that ‘crooked’ Darrell Issa chaired.

    morris brown Reply:

    Clem writes:

    What this does not do is complete the financing package for the IOS–never mind a commercially viable Bay to Basin link.

    Clem is right on target. The numbers don’t work; there is not nearly enough funding here to build the project.

    See: http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2014/06/time-legislature-say-high-speed-rail-funding/

    The San Jose Mercury editorial sends out a very strong message:

    See:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_25951168/mercury-news-editorial-bullet-train-scam-is-bad

    Mercury News editorial: Bullet train scam is a bad budget deal

    Will Senators Leno and Steinberg be able to deliver the votes to approve the budget with this use of Cap and Trade funds? They must obviously expect they can, but we won’t know until Sunday whether they can or not.

    Joe Reply:

    If not enough votes for the budget then no one gets paid. Leave out HSR and it gets the governor vote.
    No one gets paid.

    The budget needs a simple majority vote to pass.

    Alan Reply:

    Gee, what a surprise that a Media News Group paper, which has shown an anti-HSR bias for years, would write such a factually-challenged piece of garbage.

    And what a surprise that a company like that has been bleeding money for years…

    jonathan Reply:

    yes, Clem is right about that.

    And it remains to be seen whether FRA (administrator of PRIIA funds) will accept drip-feed payments to match the PRIIA dollars, in lieu of the Prop 1A funds — which are already in arrears.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Yes. It allows the already partially funded Initial Construction Segment to be built. And it would allow the Initial Construction Segment to be built without tapping the bulk of Prop1A bond funding, which means enough Prop1A bond funding would be available if there is a Federal HSR funding unlock when President Obama leaves office, which could well make funds available at an 80:20 match.

    And it would allow some work to continue at both ends on shared corridors where that work is of immediate benefit.

    But the big connectors from the San Joaquin Valley into the LA Basin and Bay Area still hinge on either other state revenue sources or else (preferably) a Federal policy unlock.

  15. morris brown
    Jun 13th, 2014 at 07:52
    #15

    Take a listen to Dan Walters talking about McCarthy’s most likely rise to GOP majority leader and that it would perhaps spell doom for HSR here.

    http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2014/06/dan-walters-daily-061314.html

    Eric M Reply:

    Coming from Dan Walters, who is ANTI-HSR himself means squat. Buzz off morris and start your own blog.

    Joe Reply:

    Kern County wants the High Speed Rail Maintenance yard and the high paying jobs it offers.

    http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/Lawsuits-wont-affect-bid-for-High-Speed-repair-yard-262798211.html

    Not sure what the EIR Lawsuit is for besides a political fig leaf to avoid responsibility for the eventual RoW.

    Alan Reply:

    Amen to that…

    Tony D. Reply:

    Yeah! It’s going to “spell doom” by potentially denying our project any future federal funding. OH WAIT!…that’s already happening!

    In case you haven’t noticed Morris, we’re choosing to get this project done on our own. @$#! Your future GOP leader and the feds!

    Peter Reply:

    DOOM!!!

    John Burrows Reply:

    In the meantime Brown’s budget bill passes by a vote of 55-24 in the Assembly and by a vote of 25-11 in the State Senate—Better than a 2/3 majority in each house—And in the Senate one Republican, Anthony Cannella representing Merced and San Benito counties, joines the Democrats. Imagine a Republican legislator in California actually voting to give money to high speed rail. This doesn’t sound like much of a doom scenario to me.

  16. Donk
    Jun 13th, 2014 at 08:19
    #16

    Why is nobody com paining about the 20% that is going to low income housing? The only part of this that is getting any play in the press seems to be HSR.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The low income housing near transit station is code language for redevelopment projects. My thinking has been since Brown wiped out redevelopment agencies run by cities that he should have re-purposed them as creatures of transit districts.

    However if you know anything about municipal politics in California that is akin to passing a law tha would allow poor people the right to demand wealthy people buy them a boat.

    Donk Reply:

    They gotta bring back redevelopment agencies, with some additional oversight. Some of the projects were getting to be ridiculous, but there were still many worthy projects. Tying the funds to transit is the wrong way of funding redevelopment. Just like how grade separation projects should be highway rather than transit projects.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    What redevelopment project is worthy? I am hard pressed to think of any that panned out without the city taking a bath.

    Donk Reply:

    There were plenty of worthy projects in places like LA and SD in the earlier days. San Marcos, CA had a bunch of great projects in the works that got shitcanned because of the elimination of redevelopment. Of course, there were also tons of bad projects that weren’t really redevelopment projects, but were more for Democrats to fulfill their low-income housing quotes at the expense of the taxpayer.

    The best projects were the earlier ones where they kicked the bums out and created livable commercial and entertainment districts with some energy to it, which then brought in private money and further redevelopment. Usually, once a city got the bums out and got the ball rolling, the follow up projects were a waste and were just handouts to developers. They key were the high risk projects in the early stages.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    This is a common misperception of redevelopment. Nearly all the projects were about expanding the sales tax base (which has stagnated). Housing projects by in large would have been great projects but the nature of tax increment financing is why the system don’t work. Urban land values in SF are exploding and redevelopment is still gone.

    Other states manage to get by just fine without them.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    Other states your real estate taxes are based on market value more or less.

    Michael Reply:

    Golden Gateway, San Francisco. There are others, but this stands out as what redevelopment was meant to be.

    http://www.sfredevelopment.org/index.aspx?page=56

  17. Reedman
    Jun 13th, 2014 at 11:33
    #17

    FYI,
    In the latest BART meeting, it was decided to charge $6 for the 3.2 mile Oakland Airport Connector.
    Also updates about the forthcoming new 3-door BART cars.

    http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/BART-puts-off-final-decision-on-new-cars-grip-5548736.php?cmpid=hp-hc-bayarea

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    The new BART cars seem more suited for an urban metro than commuter rail.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    Then you might have a look at what type of vehicles are in use on commuter rail lines in the greater Tokyo area…

    Donk Reply:

    $6 is preposterous. I don’t use the word boondoggle loosely, but that project is a boondoggle.

    Max Wyss Reply:

    This is in the range of airport connectors.

    The JFK AirTrain costs $5, and the EWR about the same (price difference extrapolated from the fares from Penn Station to Neward).

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    How is $6 an improvement over the current bus?

    joe Reply:

    When you travel to/from airport, how much time do you allocate for traffic?

    EJ Reply:

    None, really. It’s a short trip, and in many, many trips between the BART station and the airport, I’ve never seen serious traffic.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Hegenberger (the main road from BART Coliseum to Oakland Airport) can be very congested (SOVs, all the SOVs) at times. You’ve been a little lucky in avoiding this most first of First World Problems.

    Half a billion earth dollars congested? Not remotely.

    Anybody in any way connected with the project should, of course, be lined up against a wall.

    But instead they’re all over HSR to Los Banos, BART to the SJ Flea Market, the SF Central Subway, and even more scams to come. Mmmmmm Transit-Industrial Complex … Mmmmmmmm no prison time no matter how blatant the fraud … Mmmmmmmmmmmm

    EJ Reply:

    Yeah, I’m not saying I’ve never seen it congested; I guess since I lived in West LA for 14 years traffic has to get REAL BAD before I actually take notice of it.

    But even with the bus, I honestly view OAK and SFO as pretty much interchangeable when it comes to getting to or from downtown SF, I usually book flights based on price or whichever has the most convenient departure time.

    Amanda in the South Bay Reply:

    Assuming you’re going to build an OAK connector, I’d think that an actual BART spur
    using existing track and cars would be the cheapest-certainly no need to buy new cars or build a massive station extension to Oakland Coliseum BART.

    Neville Snark Reply:

    It isn’t. But the fact is that most air travellers disdain buses of any description, and don’t mind the $6.

    EJ Reply:

    most air travellers disdain buses of any description

    Rail transit folks always talk like this is an immutable fact of nature. 30 years ago nobody liked to take trains, but lots of people have come around.

    TomA Reply:

    Well maybe the $6 fee will make them reconsider the bus.

    Joe Reply:

    IAD has a bus connector between the DC Metro and airport. I can’t wait for the metro silver line extension to finish. Bus or taxi, you leave early to avoid missing a flight and that can be the difference between an over night stay or evening flight out.

    At IAD they took the surface people movers out and added a subway system.

    When these things happen in the Bay Area it’s a mafioso scheme.

    Donk Reply:

    I’ve flown into OAK maybe once and SJC and SFO like 20 times each. If OAK had an easy connection to BART and into San Francisco, I might fly OAK more often, especially given that SFO sucks ass due to all the delays and the BART connection is sub-optimal. But this new $6 connection will not make me any more likely to fly into OAK if I am going to the Bay Area. I am guessing that I am not alone. OAK blew it.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    SF doesn’t want Oakland to be a serious contender for air travel. I think the goal of the OAC project literally was to make people yearn for BART to SFO.

    Alon Levy Reply:

    Serious question: how important is airport access fare in airport choice? When I fly it tends to be for longer distances, so fares are several hundred dollars, so differences between airlines tend to overwhelm differences in airport connector fare.

    Now, to be fair, when I fly into New York, I do take into account the difference between JFK and Newark’s airport connectors when I make my fare calculation. However, this is basically a tie-breaker. The difference is much smaller than the difference between taking a train to YVR and having to take a taxi because it’s so late or so early the transit options suck. I also take into account non-financial factors, such as waits at immigration (Newark is better than JFK’s Terminal 4 but worse than JFK’s smaller terminals), JFK’s higher frequency of trains to Manhattan, the seat pitch and width, what time of day the flights are, etc.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I think about it much more in regard to Europe than the US. Most times, Southwest flies to the rundown smaller airport with no amenities. For the Bay Area, DC and New York it would be part of the decision but not all of it.

    Donk Reply:

    What your saying makes sense for cross-country travel to the Bay Area.

    But if you are traveling from LAX or SAN to the Bay Area, this can make or break your decision. OAK could and should be the best solution for SF, since SFO is so damn unreliable. But they totally blew it. Once BART to SJ is complete, this also really reduces any chance that people will use OAK to get to SJ.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    I thought the whole point of HSR was that people who want to get from metro LA to metro SF won’t be on airplanes because the train, door to door, is faster.

    Donk Reply:

    Yeah that sounds great. In like 2030 when it is finished.

    Eric Reply:

    So they’re spending half a billion dollars on a project that will be useless sixteen years from now?

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Useless today, useless tomorrow, useless sixteen years from now.

    Exactly how it was designed to work.

    By America’s Finest Transportation Planning Professionals.

    The same ones bringing you HSR to Los Banos and Palmdale and BART to the SJ Flea Market and more, so much more.

    What’s your problem? The system is functioning as designed.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I don’t think Oakland blew anything. I think SF realizes the power of controlling the region’s airport. I agree that it sure seems like Oakland makes more sense but they will rebuild SFO from scratch before yielding that power to Oak-town.

    Donk Reply:

    It really doesn’t seem like OAK even tries to market their services for travelers to SF. Maybe they have resigned themselves to only serving the East Bay, and have given up on the SF and SJ markets.

    flowmotion Reply:

    I’ve seen OAK advertisements in the San Francisco BART stations. Doesn’t change the fact it’s still more difficult to get to versus SFO.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Well part of that is because Oakland is almost all Southwest passengers and SFO has the international passengers and legacy carrier traffic. However, SWA’s passenger traffic has more or less declined statewide since 2006.

    adirondacker12800 Reply:

    for most people the parking fees are what determines things. 18 bucks a day at the Port Authority parking lots makes a cab cheaper than parking unless you live in Montauk or Port Jervis. The cab drops you right at the Skycaps.

    EJ Reply:

    To be fair, IIRC it costs almost $9 to take BART to downtown SF from SFO. There’s a hefty premium on BART fares to and from the airport, so total cost from OAK to downtown SF on the BART connector + BART isn’t much different.

    Reality Check Reply:

    BART adds a $4 surcharge to any trip beginning or ending at the SFO station.

    SFO started quietly running free employee shuttle service from Millbrae BART. BART did not like the effect this had on their ridership & ticket revenue, so a deal was eventually struck with the SFO in which — if I recall correctly — SFO had to agree to stop running the shuttles:

    SFO BART discount
    Four years ago, BART increased the surcharge on SFO trips from $1.50 to $4.00 each way because air passengers are able to pay a higher fare. Almost a year later, SFO came to an agreement with BART to reduce the surcharge for some employees back to the original $1.50.

    Well now, it gets even better, because from July 1, 2013, there will no longer be a surcharge for most badged employees.

    For example, if you travel from Civic Center to SFO, the fare is currently $8.25 each way. At present, eligible employees pay only $5.70 each way. But from July 1st, the charge drops to $4.20 each way; about the cost of 1 gallon of gas. And with BART kicking in a bonus your out-of-pocket cost drops to $3.94.

    Who is Eligible?

    [...]

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Originally, as Dan Richard can tell you, the plan was to have SFO pay for 50% or so of the Comstruction cost of the BART station. The airlines, finding that they would have to absorb some of that cost, pitched a fight and screwed BART over, hard. Hence the need for a surcharge to cover costs.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    Helpful hint: Anything that comes out of Dan Richard’s mouth is a lie.

    The BART past (embarrassingly transparent bagman and shill for PBQD, Bechtel, and Tutor) is a perfect guide to the CSHRA present and future (same house, same call.)

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yes, and the BART to SFO fiasco that Richard resolved is the reason Brown made him Chairman of the Board. I realize you will never be happy with what passes for transit in America, Richard, but BART is better than what 95% of America has or will have.

    Richard Mlynarik Reply:

    He didn’t “resolve” it.

    He was instrumental in creating the fucking fiasco.

    As I said, unambiguously nothing other than a bagman for the consultant and construction mafiosi during his entire BART Board tenure of systematically and repeatedly screwing the public over.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Yes, he had the wild idea to make the airport pay for the extension for BART. So uncalled for, so unreasonable.

    Michael Reply:

    As I remember it, to cover the hole in the construction budget, SFO agreed to fund all on airport constructions costs, to be repaid via the SFO surcharge on BART-SFO passengers. Airport employees would be exempt, or semi-exempt from it. The airlines had no seat at the table with BART. If they were upset, they voiced it with SFO.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Airports subsist largely on landing fees and parking fees. Who do you think the airport protects at all cost? The airlines, duh.

  18. nslander
    Jun 13th, 2014 at 14:35
    #18
  19. Lewellan
    Jun 13th, 2014 at 18:17
    #19

    To “applaud” is the singular application of the collective “applause.”

    Lewellan Reply:

    Dearest Californians, hold on to your future dreams and your children’s future dreams, as their’s are yours, their future dreams are yours. Einstein quipped “faster is slower.” In the year 2014, a physicist agrees, Slower is Faster.

    Eric Reply:

    And Abraham Lincoln quipped that you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Yeah, I googled that quote. “You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet”, Abraham Lincoln, August 3rd, 1492.

  20. George MacDonald
    Jun 14th, 2014 at 18:41
    #20

    City Council of Bakersfield and the Kern County Board of Supervisors confuse me. At the same time “they” are fighting the HPR, “they” are in agreement to extend Hwy 58 to the East/West Park Way. This will involve the demolition of about 400 home, businesses, etc and displace approximately a 1000 people. Some of the complaints they have against the HPR are the same things they are creating by building more freeways; that is, noise pollution, air pollution, and property loss. They complain about the vibration created by the HPR. When I went to Bakersfield High School, trains ran right next to the Shop Blding. and the whole blding. shuck like an earthquake. The track still run right through the middle of town.
    Do not forget “they” originally went to Sacramento and pleaded to have the HPR come to town and not by pass Bakersfield.

  21. George MacDonald
    Jun 14th, 2014 at 18:50
    #21

    Is Cal getting oil royalty monies from all the thousands of oil tank cars coming to Cal?

  22. Donk
    Jun 14th, 2014 at 22:09
    #22

    So can we get some kind of quantitative idea of what this means for HSR? 25% of Cap & Trade means $750M to $1.25B/year for HSR. How many years? Does CHSRA have this factored into their biz plan yet, or will it take 2 years for a new biz plan with this info in it? Do we have enough to do anything meaningful, like an IOS?

    joe Reply:

    No sunset – as along as cap and trade is in place or until changed by law. That means the State can borrow against the funding in future years.

    HSR doesn’t have CnT funding in the 2013 Biz plan draft. It would matter most for the Financial Plan which HSR argues (in court) is where they will show enough funding identified to complete the IOS.

    StevieB Reply:

    To December 31, 2020.

    StevieB Reply:

    Final allotments are established at the end of 2020. We will then see if the companies involved continue to bid the auction prices upward or reduce greenhouse gasses to the point they do not have to bid.

    BruceMcF Reply:

    Though note that with CnT funding, they do not need to tap Prop1A(2008) funds for the state match for the initial construction segment.

    IMV, until there is more Federal funding on offer, any CnT funds in excess of the requirements of the First Construction Segment should be spent on the dual-use portions of the planned network. So from SF south and possibly the Commuter Overlay in the Bay Area, from Anaheim north in the south.

  23. Donk
    Jun 14th, 2014 at 22:13
    #23

    What does this mean practically for transit and Amtrak/commuter rail? All anyone talks about around here is Caltrain Electrification. I am tired of hearing about Caltrain. Are we finally going to get the Union Station run-thru tracks? What about other improvements to LOSSAN? What about additional funds to local transit agencies for meaningful projects (ie, stuff other than the shit they waste their money on in the Bay Area like BART, the Central Subway, and iconic bridges).

    Robert Reply:

    Donk,
    Metro approved the Union Station run through tracks on 4-24-14. Construction starts late 2016, and finishes 2019. We get things done here in LA. In 2016 we may boost our taxes again another 0.50% to complete the county wide rail buildout:

    http://thesource.metro.net/2014/04/24/metro-board-approves-contract-for-union-station-regional-rail-improvements/

    I would imagine that other improvements related to CnT funds will take a while to figure out. Looking forward to LOSSAN improvements too.

    RT

    Robert Reply:

    There will soon be 5 rail lines under construction in LA County:
    1. Gold Line Foothill Extension: 11 mile extension of the Gold Line into Eastern San Gabriel Valley, opening 2016
    2. Expo Phase 2: 6 mile extension of the Expo Line to downtown Santa Monica, opening 2016
    3. Crenshaw Line: New 8 mile light rail connecting Expo Line to Green Line, LAX adjacent station, opening 2018
    4. Regional Connector: 2 mile light rail subway connecting Expo/Blue Line(s) to current Gold Line, opening 2020, one seat rides from Pasadena to Long Beach, or from East L.A to the beach.
    5. Westside Subway Extension: 4 mile 3 station extension along Wilshire Bl, opening 2023

    The 2016 ballot measure will *increase* the number of projects being built above and beyond what you see above.

    RT

    Roger Christensen Reply:

    And recently the Valley’s powerful business group VICA has started to lobby for a north/south San Fernando Valley rail line that would connect through the Sepulveda pass to West L.A. They are also lobbying for converting the Orange Line busway to rail. My how politics have changed in the Valley.
    I would think that a Burbank Airport/Metrolink/HSR connection should be on the wish list.

    Eric Reply:

    If the Valley really wants a north-south line in our lifetimes, it will have to be elevated, not tunneled.

    That won’t prevent it from being near-silent.
    http://schwandl.blogspot.ch/2014/05/wien-vienna-u-bahn-tram.html

    joe Reply:

    And success requires compromises.

    The tax increase would need a super-majority of 67% to pass. Metro’s preliminary polling says that 58% of residents would support a tax increase.

    Any tax increase that goes on the ballot must appeal to voters in Beverly Hills, the San Gabriel Valley and South Los Angeles, county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. The proposal “has to be regional, it has to be rational, it has to equitable — all three, all the time, all day long,” he told conference attendees. “If we neglect any one of those three elements, it will put the very proposition at risk.”

    Guaranteeing projects across the county may be a political necessity, but it doesn’t always serve passengers the best, said Lisa Schweitzer, a USC professor who studies transit funding. She said transit-using communities with the potential for highest ridership, a common measure of success, tend to be clustered in the core of the county.

    Two years ago, a proposed extension of the county transit sales tax approved in 2008 fell 0.6% shy of garnering the required two-thirds supermajority of votes. The loss came as a result of weak support in suburban, relatively well-off communities of the South Bay and the Westside, a Times analysis found. The analysis found support for the sales tax had eroded significantly from four years earlier, when voters initially approved the half-cent sales tax increase for transit.

    “In order to get those areas interested in transit, you have to gold-plate it and sugarcoat it” with high-profile projects such as the Westside subway extension, which appeal to residents who typically drive their own cars, Schweitzer said. “But you can’t win without them.”
    http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-transit-sales-tax-20140329-story.html

    Donk Reply:

    Yeah I understand what projects are on tap using local Measure R funding. But what I am trying to figure out is what the CnT funds mean for local transit, i.e. is this just for operations or are they going to provide some sort of matching funding for new projects? And who decides how these funds are divvied out?

    StevieB Reply:

    Prop 1A Connectivity Dollars Support Transit Projects in Southern California.

    LA Metro – $115 Million -Regional Connector in Downtown Los Angeles.
    Metrolink- $89 Million – New or Improved Trains.
    San Diego MTS – $58 Million –Modernize Blue Line Light Rail.
    Metrolink and North County Transit District – $100+ Million – Positive Train Control.

    Donk Reply:

    Thanks, but you are talking about Prop 1A money, not CnT money. I guess nobody has an idea of how transit-related CnT funds will be divvied out yet.

  24. Keith Saggers
    Jun 15th, 2014 at 13:58
    #24

    BART ridership surge

    http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2014/04/16/132915/

    Ted Judah Reply:

    Don’t look now, but the fleet of the future might be obselete already…

    Joey Reply:

    No open gangways, reliance on decades old signaling? Who would have guessed?

    Ted Judah Reply:

    I want to know if dual level cars are viable. Rode the Sydney City Rail ones before and think it would be a great solution for BART Vader.

    Joey Reply:

    Short answer: no

    Long answer: There’s basically no room to make BART cars any taller since the tunnels were built around the current loading gauge with no room to expand. The cars are maybe 11′ tall with another foot or so of clearance above that which has to exist either way. So not enough room for two levels.

    In any case, while bilevel cars would increase passenger capacity, they would also increase loading and unloading times, which are at least as much of a problem for BART.

  25. Norman
    Jun 15th, 2014 at 18:45
    #25
  26. Donk
    Jun 16th, 2014 at 00:07
    #26

    California is ready to form the Semi-Autonomous Republic of Californiastan. We need to stop subsidizing the rest of the Union. Looks like we’ll be funding just about everything on our own for the next decade anyway.

    Ted Judah Reply:

    The nation is already devolving into autonomous regions, why go it alone? In all honesty, federal systems of government have plenty of autonomy. Our problem is that the local political establishment can’t figure this out.

Comments are closed.