House Spending Bill Includes $100 Million for Key Caltrain Project

By Dan Brekke : kqed – excerpt

A House appropriations bill proposed this week as part of a package to fund federal government operations through the end of September contains what could be a welcome surprise for Caltrain.

Legislation from the House appropriations subcommittee on transportation includes $100 million for the Peninsula commuter railroad’s planned electrification of its route from San Jose to San Francisco.

It’s far from certain, however, that Caltrain will get to spend the money. Congress has yet to vote on the bill including the electrification funding — a project that has faced unanimous opposition from the 14 Republicans in California’s House delegation. And even if Congress approves the legislation and it’s signed into law, the transit agency will receive the funds only if the Trump administration signs off on a $647 million grant agreement that’s been on hold since February.

“It’s not a done deal, but it’s good progress,” said Caltrain spokeswoman Tasha Bartholomew. She added: “We still have a long way to go.”…

Chao has until June 30 to decide on the grant. That’s also the deadline set in Caltrain’s agreements with contractors for work to begin on the electrification project… (more)

RELATED:

Bill Would Permit Use of Bullet Train Bonds for Caltrain Upgrade

AB1889 by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, would change the wording of previous legislation to approve selling the bonds to pay for upgrades to Caltrain, which for years has been included as part of the plan to build a California high-speed rail system… (more)

Did AB 1889 pass and will the legislature choose to use the funds this way?

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