Information published on 10 April 2012 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 286.

High-Speed Rail Revised Business Plan Emphasises Blended Approach

On 2 April 2012 the California High-Speed Rail Authority released a revised 2012 Business Plan that projects a better, faster, and cheaper approach to connecting Northern and Southern California by 2029.

The revised plan embodies significant changes to the draft issued last November that will lead to the completion of a statewide high-speed rail network at a cost of $68.4 billion and will focus on blending services with existing transportation infrastructure in both the North and the South rather than building a fully dedicated track system that was projected to cost $98.1 billion in the draft plan.

The revised plan will begin construction of the initial segment of a 300 mile operating section from Merced to the San Fernando Valley later this year or early in 2013 and within ten years will have a system that will generate operating revenues and private investment. Simultaneously, the plan will improve existing rail service in the Bay Area and Los Angeles to prepare those systems for high-speed rail service.

The Plan will generate over 100,000 job years of employment over the next five years, the equivalent of 20,000 jobs per year and will provide substantial environmental benefits, eliminating 320 billion vehicle miles travelled over the next 40 years and 3 million tons of carbon emissions annually.

“This is a win-win proposition for the citizens of California, and I enthusiastically look forward to working with the Board on its adoption”, said High-Speed Rail Board Member Jim Hartnett, “within the next ten years we will have an operating system and by 2029 we will have a one-seat ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that will cost less than the average airline ticket”.

The revised plan will be considered by the Authority Board of Directors at their 12 April meeting, and the Board will also consider memoranda of understanding from both Los Angeles and the Bay Area on the early investments.

A copy of the revised 2012 Business Plan is available on the Authority website: http://www.cahighspeedrail.ca.gov/

(Source: California High Speed Rail Authority)