Lawmaker Pushing Long-Term California Rail Plan

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – High-speed rail is on its way to California even though polls show that a majority of residents don’t want it. Now, State Senator Mark DeSaulnier of Concord said that he believes there should be a comprehensive rail plan in place to guide future decisions.

A high-speed rail project remains on the fast-track in California. Voters initially approved public funding for the project four years ago, but recent surveys show between 59 and 62 percent are now against the project. This may be because the cost of the project has shot up to more than $68 billion.

DeSaulnier has introduced a bill to create a statewide passenger rail plan that includes a long-term plan for high speed rail. Nadia Naik, of Californians Advocating for Responsible Rail Design, said that she likes the concept.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

”It makes sense, because without having a statewide plan, each agency is sort of fighting with the other agencies to make a cohesive unit,” said Naik.

Naik said that it has been difficult for her Palo Alto-based grassroots organization to get information on specific costs.

The rail line would essentially link the Bay Area to Los Angeles. The first phase of the project could begin by the end of the year.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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