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article imageCalifornia approves funding for first US bullet train

By Leo Reyes     Jul 7, 2012 in Technology
The California Senate has approved the initial funding requirement for the construction of the first bullet train in the US by a vote of 21-16 which allocates roughly $8 billion for the initial portion of track including other related projects.
The proposed bullet train will run from San Diego to Sacramento, California and will be built at the cost of $68 billion.
No date has been set for the start of construction of the rail tracks as consultations and approval of plans have to be settled with affected parties from communities along the rail tracks.
California Governor Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign the funding legislation soon, has been pushing the project with the support of President Obama.
"The Legislature took bold action today that gets Californians back to work and puts California out in front once again," Brown said in a statement.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the California senate vote is a big win for the state.
"No economy can grow faster than its transportation network allows," LaHood said in a statement. "With highways between California cities congested and airspace at a premium, Californians desperately need an alternative."
Still, some democrat allies who did not vote for the proposed funding bill, say they're not sure if the administration has the right plan in place. Sen. Joe Simitian of Palo Alto, who is a democrat believes there is something wrong with the plan.
"This the wrong plan," he said, "in the wrong place at the wrong time."
California bullet train route
California bullet train route
CA High Speed Rail Authority
Apparently, planners failed to please community leaders who will be affected by the project in terms of disturbance or other factors that need to be looked into carefully in consultation with the aggrieved parties before actual construction starts.
Meanwhile, lawsuits have been filed in court to stop the project which threatens to delay its implementation despite state and federal the funding support.
But some business leaders particularly in the Bay area where the tracks will pass have expressed full support for the project.
According to California High Speed Rail Authority, travel time using the proposed bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco will be two hours and 40 minutes while from Los Angeles to San Diego will be 80 minutes.
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