by Chris Jones
Keep your fingers crossed, folks. Governor Schwarzenegger, with the blessing of the California High Speed Rail Authority, will soon be filing an application with the federal government seeking $1.28 billion in stimulus funds for high speed rail construction between San Francisco and San Jose. That's about half the money needed to get this leg of the project completed. Included in the project: funds for Caltrain electrification, infrastructure improvements, and station components at the soon to be reconstructed Transbay Terminal, the Caltrain station at 4th and King, and Diridon Station in San Jose. In total, California will be seeking about half the $8 billion in stimulus funds for the entire high speed rail project. We should demand all $8 billion, because California is awesome and all those other states seeking American dollars are not.
The fly in the ointment? The results of a hearing on October 9th over a lawsuit filed by certain Peninsula cities populated by ladies who lunch and assorted other NIMBYs that may require the High Speed Rail Authority to redo some of its environmental work for the SF to San Jose corridor. This would more than likely prevent at least this part of the project from qualifying for stimulus funds due to the strict time limits required to get work started and completed.
High speed rail=sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. NIMBYs=libertarian communist Wal-Mart shoppers. Grrrr.