Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

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  by mtuandrew
 
eolesen wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:44 am It's still with the lawyers.
Presumably if Cali can stretch the proceedings beyond 1/20/21 at noon, USDOT will quite suddenly reverse its opinion on clawing back said money. Would be a huge win for CAHSR and the state.
  by Pensyfan19
 
The fate of this high speed rail project is hanging on an upcoming funding decision by the State of California.

https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... egislature
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The fate of California’s high speed rail project hangs on a funding decision the California legislature will make before adopting the new state budget in June.

“I do think it's time to decide: Is California committed to moving to electrified, clean, high speed rail as a way to move people around the state and connect regions that are not well connected today?” project CEO Brian Kelly told Trains News Wire after unveiling high speed rail’s latest business plan. “My answer to that is yes. And my governor's answer to that is yes. And I believe, and my governor believes, that the Biden administration supports that effort.”

This decision was postponed last summer when the California Assembly asked the High-Speed Rail Authority not to purchase rail, electrification, and signaling systems for the Central Valley line under construction between Merced and Bakersfield. But on Tuesday, the authority board unanimously put the funding question back in the legislature’s lap and begin procurement this summer [see “Revised California high speed rail plan …,” Trains News Wire, Feb. 10, 2021].
  by lensovet
 
it's nuts because this is money from bonds that were already sold for this project. the fact that the legislature has to approve it at all is bonkers.
  by eolesen
 
It's called "Checks and Balances"....

Since the State is liable for the bonds, not the agency, the Legislature's oversight is essential.

Given how mismanaged they've been with the funds already released to the Agency, I can see why the Legislature might be tightening the purse strings and putting the Agency under more scrutiny.
  by electricron
 
The CHSR Authority can not continue to ignore the State Legislature forever. Almost all high ranking legislators are from Southern California, and they are already on record spending the next $4 Billion in Southern California. They diplomatically tried to nudge the CHSR Authority Board in the last session, if the Board continues to ignore them, the legislature will force them to spend the next $4 Billion in Southern California. The power of the checkbook is extremely strong! CHSR Board can not spend money they do not have. To get that money, they will have to reach a compromise with the legislature.
  by David Benton
 
It also makes sense to close that L.A - Bakersfield gap . And the Central valley would benefit more from that , than more rail in the central Valley , as far as order of completion goes.
  by lensovet
 
I’m not really clear on what reforms you’re looking for? It appears that they have attempted to buy out property owners and failed. Most of the remaining property has to be condemned, but that is a slow process that is on hold even further due to the pandemic. Unless the reforms you’re looking for are “get property owners to like high speed rail and quickly sell their property at reasonable prices”, I’m not sure what you’re expecting.
  by kitchin
 
Good point. Aside from assigning or hiring more judges, which would look fishy, it's going to take a while.

As for reform, I don't dismiss out of hand the contractor's complaints that they're not getting good direction from the state, which is driving up costs. By reform I mean instilling confidence that costs will not get out of control.
  by lensovet
 
Right, but my point is that I don't know how much better the state can really do. It's not like the agency has any control over how quickly the pandemic is going to be over, when courts won't be backlogged anymore, or if property owners will decide to give up and settle.
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