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Please Comment, Fellow Californians: 2020 California High-Speed Rail Authority Draft Business Plan

Every two years, the California High-Speed Rail Authority is required by law (Proposition 1A, enacted by voters in 2008) to produce a Business Plan. And every two years the Authority comes out with a report.

The Business Plan serves primarily as a public relations promotional document for the high-speed rail project. However, grim reality is usually embedded deep within the report for the public to find.

The newly-released draft for 2020 is entitled California High-Speed Rail 2020 Business Plan: Delivering the Vision

Please read about the delivery of the “vision” and submit your comments by April 12 in one of five ways:

1. Submit a comment electronically through the California High-Speed Rail website at this link:
https://www.hsr.ca.gov/about/business_plans/business_plan_2020_comment_form.aspx

2. Email to DraftBP2020@hsr.ca.gov

3. U.S. mail to this address:

California High-Speed Rail Authority

Attn: Draft 2020 Business Plan

770 L Street, Suite 620 MS-1

Sacramento, CA 95814-3385

4. Voicemail Message: (916) 384-9516

5. In-Person Public Comment at One (or Both) Meetings of the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors:

As you might guess, the delivery of this “vision” continues to become phenomenally more expensive than originally claimed. And it will become reality long after originally claimed – if it ever becomes reality.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority predicts in its 2020 Draft Business Plan that 40 million people will ride the train by 2040, generating $4.5 billion and covering the cost of operations.

We’ll make our own prediction. If the Trump Administration or a subsequent Presidential administration is unable to force the State of California to pay back its 2010 federal grants, the Authority might have track on the ground between Madera and Wasco in 2030.

This would allow the Amtrak San Joaquins passenger trains with 125-mph low-emissions diesel engines to run on dedicated track (thus avoiding conflicts with freight trains). There could also be regional commuter rail service operating between Fresno and smaller cities to the north and south, such as Madera and Selma.

High-speed rail at more than 200 mph between San Francisco and Los Angeles (or San Diego or Sacramento)? Absolutely no way.

Salute to Charlie Waters from Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability

There are many wonderful individuals our group has met during the past several years on our mission to hold the California High-Speed Rail Authority accountable for its actions.

One such person was Mr. Charlie Waters, who always put others first and fought for what he believed was right. We are forever grateful to this Marine and American hero, who advocated for veterans, immigrant farmers and issues impacting the San Joaquin Valley – including water and rail.

Many of us have seen, firsthand, the passion and knowledge with which Charlie spoke at meetings and events concerning rail. His travels in the world included travel via high-speed rail.

The Fresno City Council will issue a proclamation next week declaring “Charlie Waters Day” in Fresno. (See the item on the September 24 meeting agenda.)

Our sincerest condolences to his family and extended family at the Fresno Veterans Home.

Mr. Waters was one of the individuals who addressed the media and concerned citizens at a rally to bring awareness of the Fresno businesses impacted by the California High-Speed Rail project. The event was held at Klein's Truck Stop in Fresno on May 1, 2012.

Mr. Waters was one of the individuals who addressed the media and concerned citizens at a rally to bring awareness of the Fresno businesses impacted by the California High-Speed Rail project. The event was held at Klein’s Truck Stop in Fresno on May 1, 2012.

 

Advocates for California High-Speed Rail Accountability Ask California Supreme Court to Review Appeals Court Decision

John Tos, Aaron Fukuda, and the County of Kings have asked the California Supreme Court to review a July 31, 2014 decision of the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District that would allow the State of California to borrow $8,599,715,000 for California High-Speed Rail construction.

The decision was a victory for Governor Brown and the California High-Speed Rail Authority. The appeals court reversed decisions of a Sacramento County Superior Court judge in 2013 that determined the state could not sell Prop 1A bonds. The two cases in question are John Tos et al. v. California High-Speed Rail Authority et al. (Case No. 34-2011-0113919-CU-MC-GDS) and California High-Speed Rail Authority et al. v. All Persons Interested (Case No. 34-2013-00140689-CU-MC-GDS).

Approved by 52.7% of voters in November 2008, Proposition 1A authorizes the state to issue $9.95 billion in bonds for California High-Speed Rail and connectivity projects. Petitioners argue that the state has violated the conditions of Proposition 1A and therefore does not have the authority to borrow money under Prop. 1A.

Key Documents:

September 1, 2014 Tos / Fukuda / Kings County Petition to California Supreme Court for Review of California High-Speed Rail Decisions

July 31, 2014 California Appeals Court Decision in Favor of California High-Speed Rail Authority