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Local Groups Ready Rail Plans As California Considers Shift In Bullet Train Funds




A rendering of what a high-speed rail train would look like traversing California's desert.
A rendering of what a high-speed rail train would look like traversing California's desert.
California High Speed Rail Authority

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California is considering diverting funds from the Central Valley bullet train to other local rail projects. 

Many Democratic lawmakers have spoken out in favor of the move arguing the shift in funds would have more public value. That shift could include moving funds toward San Francisco commuter rail and   improving rail from Burbank to Anaheim, which is thought to ease traffic congestion on the Interstate 5 corridor.

Gov. Gavin Newsom drew back from a plan that would finish the 500-mile high-speed rail system, saying the project didn’t have the funding to succeed. But Newsom said earlier this year in his State of the State speech that doesn’t mean the project will come to an end. 

Discussions have developed as state leaders question the political, technical and cost woes that have come with the bullet project. And while some might worry about the demise of high-speed rail, others argue it’s necessary for radical change.  
 

Guests:

Ralph Vartabedian, national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times who covers the high-speed rail project, who has been following the story; he tweets @RVartabedian
 
Ethan Elkind, director of the Climate Program at Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at UC Berkeley; he also leads the Climate Change and Business Research Initiative on behalf of UC Berkeley and UCLA; he tweets @EthanElkind​

Ara Najarian, Mayor of Glendale; a member of the Metro board and vice chair of the Metrolink board