SACRAMENTO, CA - An overhaul of California's high speed rail is already taking shape; and the first bullet train could find its way to the San Francisco Bay area.
Bay Area transportation agencies are reportedly in negotiations with each other and the California High Speed Rail Authority. Talks center on moving $1 billion in state bond money to electrify existing tracks between San Francisco and San Jose. Railroad crossings would be eliminated; and high speed rail could be running by 2016.
That's five to 10 years sooner than any previous estimate.
"I think we have to keep the vision; and the right place to start is in the central valley," Senate President Darrell Steinberg said. "But, at the same time ... we have to find ways to invest, on a parallel path, into the urban corridors. So that all parts of the state know that we are committed to a full and complete high speed rail system."
In 2008, Proposition 1-A authorized $10 billion in bonds for the high speed rail project. Gov Jerry Brown's office is involved in the negations.
But the state legislature will have to approve the plan; and the Bay Area would have to come up with as much as $1 billion in matching funds.