Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Trump Administration Halts CA's High-Speed Rail Project

In the first big hit to the Bay Area from the Trump Administration, newly minted Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has put the brakes on $647 million for Caltrain to go electric, and in the process pretty much killed hopes for high-speed rail coming to San Francisco anytime soon.

“It puts the (electrification) project in serious jeopardy,” Caltrain spokesman Seamus Murphy said Friday.

The hope in California was to begin creating jobs through much needed infrastructure work and upgrades. Our Country’s infrastructure, as many already know, is not only an issue of needing basic maintenance, we need to modernize virtually everything.

Caltrain has already spent $150 million on planning to go Electric, but without the Federal and Matching funds, the overall $1.98 billion project will go into limbo.

As for high-speed rail, a $64 billion, and counting, endeavor that is still not fully funded, its viability would take a big hit if bullet trains went no farther North than the South Bay.

As a Community member pointed out over the weekend, the issues concerning infrastructure programs and this new Government are endemic to how fast this Administration has been at turning our Government into an even slower-moving entity. At best, Chao is impeding progress and at worst, she is Politicizing our Country’s Transportation system.

Some Comment from California Residents:

- California is being punished for voting for Hillary.

- It’s being punished for trying to build infrastructure that has the potential to take money out of the hands of the fossil fuel industry, who is bankrolling most of these republicans (and more than a few CA Dems).

- They’re taking jobs from their own voters. The CHSR project has created a couple of thousand high-paying jobs around Phase I (with more to come for Phases II and III), all in deep red country in CA. It will do a lot to revitalize rural California. The people who live in that area vote GOP, and the GOP is screwing them over.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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