Feinstein Urges Brown To Fold High-Speed Rail Authority

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – California Senator Dianne Feinstein is urging Governor Jerry Brown to roll the High-Speed Rail Authority under a state agency like the California Department of Transportation.

Last week, a state peer review group refused to release bond money for the project because of concerns for financial risk.

“There doesn’t appear to be any dollars out there to get this program to a point where it can really take off,” said former Caltrans head Will Kempton, who now chairs the review group.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

The money was supposed to be matched by $3.5 billion in federal money, which has Senator Feinstein concerned. As a longtime proponent of high speed rail, she doesn’t want to see that money lost.

Feinstein sent a letter to Governor Brown urging him to roll the Authority in under a state agency like Caltrans, whose expertise and resources could help put funding back on track.

Rail Authority Chair Tom Umberg said he supports a reorganization if it offers additional support.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Holly Quan
  • Ted Crocker

    How much will DiFi and her husband, billionaire Richard Blum, stand to rake in if this project continues to live?

  • MeanMe

    This is Solyndra on wheels – an expensive exercise in futility. Who will ride these trains? Nobody! Why do you think Amtrak is in such great financial shape? From the excess of riders.

  • kc

    Part of Solyndra’s problem was that the Chinese can make it cheaper and sell it cheaper and we don’t have tariffs, or at least not much. People, unfortunately, often go with cheaper over better – just look at all the people who shop WalMart.
    I think this train is a waste of time, money and space. Their projected riderships numbers, where did they come from? Anyone you asked about taking this train??
    And it’s really not all that high speed with all the stops along the peninsula and stops in the valley, and it goes around the San Gabriels. The only people this makes sense for is those afraid to fly and don’t want to or can’t drive. Put the money to better use and widen 5!!

  • http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/01/24/auditor-raises-new-concerns-about-california-high-speed-rail/ Auditor Raises New Concerns About California High-Speed Rail « CBS San Francisco

    […] Opponents of the high-speed rail project have been given the go ahead by the Secretary of State to start collecting signatures for an initiative that would eliminate the High-Speed Rail Authority. […]

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