Steinberg Statement on Today’s Rail Modernization Vote (SB 1029)
(SACRAMENTO) - Ahead of today’s Senate vote on SB 1029, Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg released the following statement:
“The new proposal before the Senate today is now greater and more immediate than just a Central Valley high-speed rail line. This new proposal, a Transit Modernization Plan, will improve, upgrade, and prepare California’s major urban areas for 21st Century mass transit demands while creating tens of thousands of jobs in areas that need them most.
“California’s Transit Modernization Plan will have a near-term dramatic improvement on urban commuting experiences in Greater Los Angeles, the Bay Area, the Capital Corridor, and San Diego.
“The decision before the Senate is to stimulate our economy in the present while looking to future, embarking upon an historic modernization of mass transit throughout California to meet the demands of the 21st Century.
“Our predecessors faced this same challenge before building California’s freeway networks and the Bay Area’s bridges. With a vision for the future, they rose to the challenge and invested in the infrastructure that brought enormous long-term prosperity to the people of California. Today, we have an historic opportunity to follow in their footsteps and do the same.”
The revised proposal before the Senate is a statewide rail modernization plan for the 21st century.
- It provides better transit systems in urban areas throughout California.
- It starts construction of the first US high-speed rail system.
Current and future users of Caltrain, BART, ACE, San Francisco Transbay Transit Center, MUNI Central Subway, Metrolink, LA Regional Connector, Amtrak, San Diego Light Rail, Sacramento RT, and Amtrak will all benefit in the short-term, in addition to being well-placed to incorporate the High-Speed rail into its larger transit networks.
The proposed Transit Modernization Plan will funded by:
- $1.9 billion of voter-approved Prop 1A bonds to improve, upgrade, and prepare California’s major urban areas for 21st Century mass transit demands
- $3.3 billion in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act federal grants to begin construction of the Central Valley high-speed rail line, and in the process create tens of thousands of desperately needed jobs in a region suffering from a 30% unemployment rate
- $2.6 billion of voter approved Prop 1A bonds to assist construction of the Central Valley high-speed rail line
- $250 million of voter approved Prop 1A bonds for the High-Speed Rail Authority’s environmental and design work.
An additional $4.77 billion in federal and local funding, separate to SB 1029, will meet the costs of closely-related local projects that improve, upgrade, and prepare local transit infrastructure for integration into the hi-speed rail network (e.g. LACTMA Regional Connector Transit Corridor).
The Senate will convene floor session at 1:00 p.m. today to take up SB 1029. The floor session will be webcast live at http://www.calchannel.com/live-webcast/
Hardcopy Press Briefing Packs are available from Senator Steinberg’s office, Room 205, State Capitol.