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California's strategy for federal high speed rail money

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When California put in its transit bid for federal stimulus money, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger put high speed rail at the top of the list. One transit expert says the odds are good that the governor’s bullet train request will hit the target.

There’s enormous competition for the $8 billion for high speed rail set aside in the federal stimulus package. Arthur Guzzetti of the American Public Transportation Association says California is ahead of other regions in terms of planning and putting up bond money. But it’s also asking for a billion dollars in federal money – one-eighth of what’s available. Guzzetti says California might not get that much.

"Now the initial $8 billion isn’t going to be able to fund everybody," Guzzetti said. "So there are some states that will initially move forward under this $8 billion. Who those states are, I can’t say. What I can say is that California will certainly be one of them."

Federal officials are expected to announce the initial winners in the high speed rail competition early next year.