By Carolyn Lochhead : sfgate – excerpt
This story gets wonkier by the minute. Now the plan is to build the train from Bakersfield to San Francisco Bay and house people in the valley. So, why are we building dense housing and a huge transit system in San Francisco?
WASHINGTON — Ridiculed as a Train to Nowhere, California’s multibillion-dollar high-speed rail project is now a Train to Somewhere, rail officials said Wednesday, touting their decision last week to radically alter course by building the bullet train’s first leg to the Bay Area instead of the Los Angeles area.
In Washington to meet with federal agency partners, rail officials said that with construction under way near the town of Madera in the San Joaquin Valley, the $68 billion project will become a reality within a decade.
The idea is to speed workers to their jobs in unaffordable Silicon Valley and back again, to their homes in the more affordable towns of the San Joaquin Valley…
Private investors needed
By contrast, Richard said, “We know we can get a line up and running on the 250 miles between the Central Valley and Silicon Valley.”
Officials hope completing the line will get private investors to pony up $10 billion or so for the rights to operate the system, money the planners desperately need to complete the project.
Richard conceded that the line must extend all the way to San Francisco on the north from Bakersfield in the south to draw riders. For that, the authority will need an additional $2.9 billion from Congress, which Republicans refuse to spend. Richard said officials are laying the groundwork for the request to Congress but won’t ask for money for four to five years…(more)
zRants | February 25, 2016 at 4:12 am | Tags: affordable housing, development, high-speed-rail, San Joaquin Valley | Categories: California, Debt, Development, Politics, Public Debt | URL: http://wp.me/pIeN-19f