People of California Will Soon Know if California High-Speed Rail Will Truly Travel as Promised between San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2 Hours 40 Minutes
Today (March 4, 2014), a Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled that the Court would consider arguments from plaintiffs in the Court case Tos v. California High-Speed Rail Authority about the failure of California High-Speed Rail to comply with travel time requirements in Proposition 1A. Read the decision: Ruling on Submitted Matter: Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings – March 4, 2014.
Stuart Flashman, attorney for the plaintiffs, said the following:
We are very gratified by Judge Kenny’s ruling denying the High-Speed Rail Authority’s motion. The Authority was, in essence, trying to shut the case down.
Our position is simply that if the Authority want to use the bond funds, it has to build what it promised the voters. Our complaint says that the Authority’s project doesn’t meet requirements for the high-speed rail system that were set when California’s voters approved Proposition 1A.
Judge Kenny’s ruling means we get our day in court to prove our case. If we’re successful, it will mean the Authority can’t use the bond funds to build their non-compliant project.
Frank Oliveira, a leader of Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA), said that CCHSRA was “pleased that Judge Kenny supports the idea that the California High-Speed Rail Authority should be accountable to the public for the decisions it makes.”
In November 2008, 52.7% of California voters approved Proposition 1A, the “Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century.” Prop 1A authorized the State of California to borrow $9.95 billion for high-speed rail by selling bonds.
Here are the specific travel time promises provided to voters in the California Secretary of State’s Official Voter Information Guide when they considered Proposition 1A:
Argument in Favor of Proposition 1A
“Proposition 1A will save time and money. Travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 2½ hours for about $50 a person.”
TEXT OF PROPOSED LAW – PROPOSITION 1A
[California Streets and Highways Code Section] 2704.09. The high-speed train system to be constructed pursuant to this chapter shall be designed to achieve the following characteristics:
(b) Maximum nonstop service travel times for each corridor that shall not exceed the following:
(1) San Francisco-Los Angeles Union Station: two hours, 40 minutes
Today’s Decision Does Not Bode Well for the California High-Speed Rail Authority
The coalition of individuals, local governments, business organizations, and taxpayer associations that won today’s decision have already won in court as a plaintiff in a Prop 1A compliance lawsuit against the California High-Speed Rail Authority and as a defendant in a bond validation lawsuit filed by the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Read those decisions here:
High-Speed Rail Authority and High-Speed Passenger Train Finance Committee, for the State of California v. All Persons Interested in the Matter of the Validity of the Authorization and Issuance of General Obligation Bonds to be Issued Pursuant to the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century and Certain Proceeding and Matter Related Thereto.
John Tos, Aaron Fukuda, County of Kings v. California High Speed Rail Authority, et al.