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Brown signs $8-billion funding measure to start construction of high-speed rail system in California

Calls passage of SB 1029 'bold risk-taking' by supporters of controversial legislation

Gov. Jerry Brown was in downtown San Francisco Wednesday to sign an $8 billion funding measure to start construction on what is expected to be the country's fastest rail system.

Brown stood on a platform at the construction site of the Transbay Transit Center -- the future northern terminus of California's high-speed

train system -- and called the passage of SB 1029 "bold risk-taking" on the part of those who supported it. He compared it to the passage of legislation that led to the construction of the BART system more than 50 years ago.

"When BART was approved, my father was governor," Brown said. "It barely passed."

The state Senate approved the high-speed rail funding bill by a margin of just one vote on July 6.

Senate president pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, who supported the bill, thanked the governor for his leadership and "for not giving up on the future."

"We've got to build high-speed rail," Steinberg said. "You can pave the farmlands with new roads and black out skies with airplanes, but the air we breathe will be no better than a tailpipe."

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee called the Transbay Transit Center the "future Grand Central Station of the West," and complemented the governor and

the mayors of Los Angeles, Fresno, Sacramento and San Jose for supporting the vision of high-speed rail and infrastructure investments in the face of

budget cuts and widespread public criticism.

"We're not waiting," Lee said. "High-speed rail is the connector for our future investment across the state."

Under SB 1029, transit agencies at high-speed rail's "bookends" -- the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego -- will benefit from millions of

dollars in early investments to modernize local rail systems.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nigel
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2012 at 8:31 am

What a pathetic situation. California is bankrupt yet Gov. Moonbeam and the ignorant socialist dolts in the legilature commit building a bullet train that will likely cost $150 BILLION (the $68 billion estimate now is widely regraded as way below the actual cost). At the same time, Moonbeam wants a massive tax increase now with many more to come. Just how crazy are Californians?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Chemist
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 19, 2012 at 9:01 am

No money for schools, but lots of money to build useless trains. This is what we get from the Democrats that Californians keep sending to Sacramento. Wake up folks and vote Republican.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by marcia
a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2012 at 10:45 am

Amen! Makes my bumper sticker "I think, therefore, I vote conservative!" punch even a bigger whallup!
We are comical fodder for all of the nation and world because liberal Californians are so stupid. They (Democrats) paint all of us into corners on a habitual basis. Unfortunately, once in, it's hard to get out. Still hoping.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John Bronzini
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2012 at 10:49 am

Aside from the obvious fact that we don't need a bullet train,CAN SOMEONE PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE TELL ME WHERE THE $8 BILLION COMES FROM? I MEAN REALLY? GOOD GRIEF ALREADY, GROW UP!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey to the Rescue!
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm

John, I'll tell you where the 8 billion comes from: do your homework! Also, your caps lock looks like it's stuck. GROW UP!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

John, Here's one explanation: Web Link)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Here's another: Web Link
And PBS coverage from March: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by swoosh
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm

hear that "swirling" sound?

it is california circling the drain, thanks to the democrat party.

here we go.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2012 at 3:35 pm

I just can't understand why people can't accept the idea of automobiles. Ann and I couldn't do without our 4 Caddies. What's good for General Motors is good for America. I love my Caddies like I love my children, and I'm happy to show them to you. My tax returns? No way, for gosh sakes. That would give the public something to criticize about me. That wouldn't be fair, to me.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

Like Nigel said this is not 68 billion. It will be more than 150 billion by the time all the infrastructure is in place. If you add in 30 years worth of interest to this 150 billion you double the amount that is owed. Just the initial 9 billion stated in Proposition 1A would require the state to pay 650 million per year out of the general fund! The only organizations to donate to the passage of prop 1A were unions. They could see this sleaze coming a mile away. If you took all the money that is needed to completely fund this boondoggle, you could have given every man, woman, and child living in California 150 round trip airline tickets between LAX and SFO. For a typical person this is several lifetime trips.

Of note, the Surfliner (San Diego to Santa Barbara) rail service recaptures the most operating costs of any California public rail service. It still needs 30% of its operating costs to be subsidized.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm

A typical load of passengers is around 400 persons. How long do you think that "in your pants" TSA agents will take to frisk 400 people. In a typical airport terminal there might be 4 lanes of security check-in stations. At this rate it would take 3 hours to clear 400 people.

On your ticket it will have the phase "please arrive at the station 3 hours before boarding". Yeah that will make everyone want to take high speed rail.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm

In your pants fixation? Just asking. But I do agree with you, and would also be willing to hire you as my accountant if you'd like the job. Your mathematical wizardry is second only to Arnold.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm

How do you like this one Mr. Mittens -

The CA high speed rail is expected to add 5% more load to PG&E's power grid (by the way PG&E was an eager supporter of HSR). At 5% more load a choice is going to have to be made on where electricity is cut in order to support HSR during peak demand conditions. So if it is 100 degrees in the shade and your air conditioner goes off along with your neighborhood's electrical supply, you can thank goodness that the high speed rail trains still have power.

It is estimated that this train system will take 3,000GWh of electricity per year of operation. Diablo Canyon nuclear power generator produces 18,000GWh that supports 2.2 million people.

I don't see anyone building a power supply generator capable of supplying this demand. And remember all the electricity generated in the future must come from clean technology. No carbon footprint allowed. So guess what your electrical rates are going to do. We will be paying electrical rates that are higher then Hawaii's which are the most expensive in the nation.

When asked about the particulars on this subject, the High Speed Rail Authority answered "its part of the vision".

Question - why do officials and professionals that have expertise in transportation to include high speed trains oppose this project while officials that don't have any expertise are in favor of the project?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lou Gohmerr
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I think you're missing Bill's point, Mittens. How are we going to pay for the security necessary to make sure no terror babies hijack the train and crash it into a building?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Muttens
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Lou, I think you're missing Bill's point--there's no infrastructure in place to supply adequate power to the new choo-choo to nowhere. To resolve this issue and fulfill gov moonbeam's legacy, we'll have to install solar panels on every square in of the state (except where Barbara Boxer and Pelosi live) and pray to God they fog nevers rolls in and it never gets dark.
Regarding your security sarcasm, maybe you should suggest employing the same security used for trains in Europe. They have terrorists blowing up trains, killing hundreds (Madrid,Luxembourg, Moscow), but that could never happen here...gov jerry won't stand for it...it might tarnish his legacy.
Where's Linda Ronstadt to provide him with the distraction he so obviously needs?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Like the Linda Ronstadt reference. Yes her, and Jerry need to go back to Africa on a safari. Take a hike up Kilimanjaro never to be seen or heard of again...you can only hope :-)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

The governor is married. Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 20, 2012 at 5:16 pm

All three of them can take a hike.


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