Train to nowhere

The California High-Speed Rail Authority’s plans to create a high-speed bullet train have apparently stalled yet again. SN&R reported last spring that high-speed rail in the Golden State has languished for lack of funds (Melinda Welsh’s “2 hours to L.A.—why not?” February 1), and that trend continues as the CHSRA only received $40 million in this year’s budget, or less than half the $103 million the authority requested.

About $30 million is needed just to obtain the right-of-way for tracks, according to Dan Leavitt, the CHSRA deputy director.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he supports the rail, provided that government funding is complemented by private funding.

Besides a meager budget allocation, the CHSRA could be further wracked by a proposal to cut $1.1 billion from gasoline taxes. “Potentially, that’s an issue for all transportation proposals,” Leavitt said.

A bond measure to fund the rail remains on the 2008 ballot.