FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Congressman Jim Costa presented legislation on Friday providing $32 billion to help fund the completion of the high-speed rail connecting the Bay Area to Los Angeles.
“With this legislation, I’m trying to make a commitment at the federal level that we’re gonna put our shoulder to it and we’re gonna lean forward,” said Costa.
Costa considers it essential the federal government makes the same commitment, referring to President Donald Trump.
Trump has put federal funding for California’s high-speed rail in limbo. During his visit to Bakersfield on Wednesday, Trump referred to the high-speed rail as “sad.”
“Billions and billions and billions of dollars, it was originally supposed to go from San Francisco to LA, that didn’t work out, so now they did this in order to get the cost down, pretty soon it will be a mile long,” Trump said.
The original project intended to connect the Bay Area with Los Angeles, however, the state has made it its priority to focus on the Central Valley for now.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority released its 2020 business plan proposal earlier this month. It outlines its goal to complete the 119-mile long construction segment in the Central Valley and expand it to 171 miles that would connect Merced, Fresno, and Bakersfield, eventually linking the Central Valley and San Jose.
“What the governor said from the beginning is that the way we’re gonna get high-speed rail done is in building blocks and the first building block of that is from Merced to Bakersfield,” California High-Speed Rail Authority Chair Lenny Mendonca said.
Meanwhile, the California High-Speed Rail Authority is accepting comments on its 2020 draft business plan through April 12.