The state Senate voted 21-16 last week in approval of putting billions of dollars of funding into beginning work on California’s high-speed rail project. The project received $7.9 billion in state and federal money, which will be used for the first 130-miles of track and to upgrade a handful of transit programs, including Caltrain.
The state Senate vote follows a 51-27 Assembly vote that authorized the spending. In Friday’s vote, most Democrats voted in favor of the project, while Republicans opposed it, according to NBC Bay Area.
Gov. Jerry Brown, who pushed lawmakers to approve the project, will now receive the funding measure.
“In 2008, California voters decided to create jobs and modernize our state’s rail transportation system with a major investment in high-speed rail and key local projects in Northern and Southern California," Brown said in a statement after the vote. "The Legislature took bold action today that gets Californians back to work and puts California out in front once again.”
State Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, who sat on the Senate's unofficial bullet train oversight group, voted against the funding.
With high-speed rail finally moving forward, Caltrain and Peninsula residents are set to reap even more benefits as well, the Mercury News reported:
Friday's vote also launches a long-sought project to transform the 150-year-old Caltrain line into an electrified commuter track carrying cheaper, zippier Caltrains between San Francisco and San Jose later this decade. BART will receive $140 million for new train cars, and Muni will receive $60 million for a new subway line to Chinatown.
The $1.5 billion Caltrain overhaul, which is also being funded with local and federal funds, is expected to finally solve the popular commuter line's ongoing fiscal crisis.
Statewide bullet trains would join the electrified Caltrain line next decade at the start of a three-hour journey from downtown San Francisco to Los Angeles, with a one-way ticket pegged at $85 in today's dollars.
This all begs the question: Are you all aboard?