The plan to build a high-speed rail line between San Francisco and Los Angeles is getting a $2.25 billion boost today, Jan. 28. More than a quarter of the $8 billion in federal stimulus money earmarked for high-speed rail systems is being awarded to California's project.
The project is set to send high-speed trains down the Peninsula along the Caltrain corridor, a route that has raised objections from many local residents and elected officials, including the city councils of Atherton and Menlo Park.
"This award is fantastic news for California and for our state's high-speed rail project," said Curt Pringle, chairman of the California High Speed Rail Authority in a statement. "It is an award that will lead to the creation of tens of thousands of quality jobs in the near-term and to continued economic strength and enhance our transportation network in the long term."
Unsurprisingly, local critics of the project take a dim view of the stimulus award.
"This is not good news," said Menlo Park resident Martin Engel in an e-mail. "They are clearly making progress toward their goal of construction on the Peninsula, and we already know what that will look like."
The rail authority had requested $4.7 billion in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for high-speed intercity rail systems. Mr. Pringle said California was granted a significant portion of the stimulus funds despite "tremendous competition."