California high-speed rail said to be on track
despite reduced budget
By Mike Aldux
August 25, 2007
A reduced allocation of $20.7 million in the state budget towards
the construction of a 700 mile high-speed train linking San Diego
and the Bay Area will not derail the project, the California High-Speed
Rail Authority (CHSRA) said today.
The 2007-08 allocation is less than the $103 million requested
by CHSRA and will restrict much of the engineering and design
work that was slated to begin within the next year, CHSRA said
in a statement.
"Despite the reduced funding for high-speed rail, I am very
optimistic about our ability to sustain progress on this vital
solution to California's transportation crisis," said Quentin
Kopp, chairman of the Board of the Authority.
Kopp says high-speed 220 mile per hour trains would alleviate
gridlock and allow for quick and easy movement from one part of
the state to another.
"The proposed $20.7 million budget will keep some essential
activities funded," said Mehdi Morshed, HSRA executive director.
Morshed said the budget allows for an environmental analysis
and preferred route in the Bay Area.
With the anticipated $3.5 million contribution from Orange County,
the budget will keep engineering and environmental work going
in the LA-Anaheim corridor, Morshed said.
"And we will also continue the vital engineering and design
work needed to receive the regulatory approvals to build the system,"
"This project has great momentum and we will move the project
forward responsibly and quickly so that voters can confidently
approve the $9.95 billion bond next year," said Morshed.