Feds commit $715 Million for Central Valley segment of bullet train
October 25, 2010
• To be matched by state bind funds
• May pay part of the cost of Merced-Bakersfield route
The Federal Railroad Administration has allocated $715 million in federal funds for the portion of California’s high-speed rail passenger train route that will run between Merced and Bakersfield, says Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno on Monday.
The amount is to be matched by funds from the state’s $10 billion bond issue approved in 2008 for the bullet train system.
The Central Valley allocation is part of more than $902 million in new federal funding going to California to advance the engineering, design and construction of high-speed rail throughout the state, says Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. Federal funds will be distributed to 18 California high-speed rail transportation projects, including the biggest chunk, the $715 million for the bullet train’s route through the Valley.
Construction of the high-speed rail system is expected to generate more than 135,000 full-time one-year job equivalents, Mr. Costa says.
“High-speed rail means more jobs and economic opportunity for the Valley,” he says. “The Valley will kick-off construction of our nation’s first high-speed rail system.”
Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin says the announcement is an “incredible development” and emphasized the growing momentum for the project.
"This is an incredible development, both for California's high-speed train initiative and for Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley,” Ms. Swearengin says.
The FRA is to work with the state to determine whether to first begin construction on the Merced to Fresno segment or the Fresno to Bakersfield segment.
Earlier this year, California’s high-speed train project was the nation’s largest recipient of federal stimulus funding, getting $2.25 billion from the $8 billion available within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The bullet train is to initially link San Francisco with Los Angeles and then be expanded to include Sacramento and San Diego.