|Submission Date||Submission Method||First Name||Last Name||Stakeholder Comments/Issues|
|2/12/2020||Website||Denise||Stone||Stop wasting the California taxpayer dollars for a plan no one is interested in! You failed to provide the services you promised in the budget that you promised. Now, you raid the CA gas tax funds to fund this ridiculous project! You are turning CA into the laughing stock of the nation!|
|2/12/2020||Roxanne||Greene||This is a ridiculous waste of money.
Roxanne D. Greene
10550 Pine Hill Drive
Shadow Hills, CA 91040-1200
Phone: (818) 800-9042
|2/12/2020||Robin||Ertel||THE dumbest expenditure by far. Why don't you put this proposed plan on the
ballot for the PEOPLE to decide?
1991 W. Oracle Crt.
Newbury Park, CA 91320
|2/12/2020||Website||Ed||Meyers||HSR people, please explain to me what the expected round trip from LA to Bay area will be? Will it be less than Southwest's $78 or $99 RT? Do not subsidize the rates with taxpayer $. Other than the initial novelty, why would we ride the rails btwn and SF? Even a trip on Amtrak from LA to San Diego is pricey.|
|2/13/2020||Steve||Schramm||I fully support high speed rail between Merced and Bakersfield, with longer term extension to the Bay Area (even though funds do not exist for this work). This will improve mobility within the state so people can live in more affordable housing and still reach major employment centers. \Steve|
|2/13/2020||David||Milton||The issue of the 42 grade crossings between San Jose and San Francisco
should be mentioned along with the proposed solution(s) to this major
problem. A prime example is the Whipple Ave. crossing.
|2/13/2020||Derek||Law||I am writing via email because the web comment form did not work. (after
filling out and tapping submit, it says URL not found). My contact info is
at the end.
I am strongly opposed to extending the rail line beyond the current
First, the CAHSRA needs to finish what it has already started. As it is
now, the current project is beyond their management ability. Adding more
responsibilities would be foolish.
Secondly, the funds for the proposed extensions would be better spent
improving existing rail transit in LA and SF, rather than building more
tracks thru farms in the middle of nowhere that won't even be used for
another decade (especially considering the agency's poor record for meeting
Third, I hope ALL funding gets cut. This is no longer the project that I
and other Californians voted for 12 years ago. Government incompetence at
8132 Firestone Blvd #378
Downey CA 90241
|2/13/2020||Lee||Lovallo||I'm strongly in favor of completing this project in its entirety, including
to Sacramento and LA.
Please move forward on the High Speed Rail plan for the Central Valley. Completing a link between Bakersfield and Merced is a viable start. But the train should be extended to Sacramento before connecting to the Bay Area. Bakersfield, Fresno and Sacramento are major population centers, and there are no mountains to tunnel through!
3180 San Jose Ave
Clovis, CA. 93619
Sent from my iPhone
|2/13/2020||Terri||Gessell||Please STOP this NIGHTMARE. Voters DID vote it in years ago, but they didn't expect the ridiculous price tag and the destruction to some of the smaller towns along it path!!
Ask the voters again to vote on it and see what the answer is this time around.
People in California believe it or not are so fed up with California because it is poorly managed in just about every aspect. I was born here in California and I see it everyday the waste, deterioration, the corruption and mismanagement EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's truly disgusting to continue with this project, but OH, yes, YOU people know better than US.
|2/13/2020||Website||Liam||Kelly||I will have to restrain myself as much as I can to stay polite and sensible so this message will not be misconstrued as political nonsense.
I want to make this as crystal clear as I can: We as Californians DO NOT NEED A HIGH SPEED TRAIN. The cost has overrun by millions, the land grab is beyond immoral, and the powers that be have forced it through regardless of the people and their voices that DO NOT WANT IT.
I can only hope others feel the same and this has some sort of a positive outcome. I'm literally sick of how this has come to be.
|2/14/2020||Website||John||Wright||Having quickly read this business case, I believe there is a way to create more value through adoption of the appropriate software, especially at the design phase, if harnessing the power of automation, assurance and BIM. It seems as if the axioms of this plan are based on traditional ways of working rather than innovation and what's available in the market.|
|2/14/2020||Website||Dale||Meisenheimer||A boondoggle from beginning, just a bad mark on the land created by ex Governor Brown... Will not do anything for transportation in central valley, lands should be restored to original conditions and returned to the original land owners.... If new bay bridge is any example (500% cost overruns and continual engineering redesigns) the dollar values stated mean nothing because cost overruns (bay bridge examples ) total actual cost at over $350 BILLION dollars.. And they still can not get through to Los Angeles and San Jose... Better to let it become a episode on the TV series "Mysteries of the Abandon"....|
|2/14/2020||Website||SAL||ARESCO||2 START (I SUPPORT THE BULLET TRAIN).NEXT THIS TRAIN SHOULD RUN AT FULL SPEED.2ND -(SAFTETY.THIS TRAIN SHOULD HAVE (VIA DUCS).NOTHING SHOULD PREVENT THE (BULLET TRAIN)-FROM ITS CONNECTION POINTS.ALSO IT MUST HAVE ITS (OWN) -POWER
.PLEASE ELECTRFI. BUILD -RIGHT THE 1ST TIME -ANSO WE CAN RIDE.YES (I'LL RIDE)OUR HSR TRAIN.NO.TOO SO.VALLEY 2VALLEY AND EVEN THE (LAS VEGAS LINE.)SO KEEP GOING IN ALL CONNECTION PIONTS.THANK -U.
|2/14/2020||Jeff||Denno||It amazes me that so many people have objection to high-speed rail. I don't know what their alternative is? It is not likely that we're going to build many more freeways or bridges. I am eager for high speed rail to begin passenger transport. I will be in line to get a ticket.
I have ridden high speed rail in Japan and in France. It is a great experience and a wonderful means of transportation. California is a large state and we really need it. It seems like conservatives are opposed to high-speed rail the way they opposed the building of the Bay bridge and the Golden Gate bridge. The way they opposed BART in San Francisco.They have not offered a real alternative and they are just blocking progress.
Build it and they will come!
421 Weaver Ave.
Merced, Ca. 96341
|2/14/2020||Bill||Martin||Dear HSR Authority,
Don't let ideologically-infected assemblymen like Fresno's Jim Patterson slow your work. People like him can't understand that 99 and I-5 can only be retrofitted with so many lanes, and choke points will back up traffic for miles.
Even Southwest Airlines' offer years ago to fly out of every Valley city (if they were provided adequate runways and passenger gates) is a solution that will do nothing to curb carbon, a state policy goal.
Electrified trains on dedicated rights-of-way at high speed is the only logical solution.
Keep it up,
Bill Martin 530-394-8224 email@example.com
Your loop pipe Ma'am, is in the ground
conducting heat from all around.
The exchanger grabs it just like glue
to keep your cheeks from turning blue.
Geo Heat Pumps— For clean, renewable energy
|2/14/2020||Karen||Unknown||Time to stop the outrageous over expenditures on this project that was
antiquated before you even started on it! You could have had the Hyperloop
for the money you are spending on this. Typical government/political
insanity and a complete waste of taxpayer money.
|2/14/2020||David||Schonbrunn||From: Parker, Annie@HSR On Behalf Of HSR info@HSR
Sent: Friday, February 14, 2020 9:17 AM
To: 'David Schonbrunn'
Cc: HSR boardmembers@HSR
Subject: RE: The future of HSR in California
Hello David - I have cc'd the Board of Directors email here, so they have received it.
Information Officer II
California High-Speed Rail Authority
770 L Street, Suite 620
Sacramento, CA 95814
w: (916) 403-6931
c: (916) 203-2960
[Build HSR logo and tagline Sig]
[https://users.focalbeam.com/fs/distribution:letterFile/11g7mb6juumlqoq_tmpl_files/11m0ornfeu32nbs] [https://users.focalbeam.com/fs/distribution:letterFile/11g7mb6juumlqoq_tmpl_files/11m0ornfeu33nbs/29/29/image.jpg] [https://users.focalbeam.com/fs/distribution:letterFile/11g7mb6juumlqoq_tmpl_files/11qc7un82f65x6g] [cid:image004.gif@01D50588.23C9B350]
[Save Our Water]
From: David Schonbrunn <David@Schonbrunn.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2020 3:30 PM
To: HSR info@HSR <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: The future of HSR in California
CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the organization. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.
Please forward copies of the attached letter to Chair Mendonca and CEO Kelly.
An email indicating the forwarding has been done would be much appreciated.
David Schonbrunn, Vice-President for Policy
Train Riders Association of California (TRAC)
P.O. Box 151439
San Rafael, CA 94915-1439
415-370-7250 cell & office
View Alternatives to Current HSR Project
In the Ridership and Revenue Forecasting technical supporting document, page A-3 lists the modeled travel times for planning purposes, including a minimum non-stop travel time from SF to LA of 174 minutes and from SF to SJ of 36 minutes. How does this meet the Prop 1A/AB3034 requirement for a non-stop travel time of 160 minutes for SF to LA and 30 minutes for SF to SJ?
What is the expected annual ridership from Palmdale station in the 2033 and 2040 scenarios? Given the impacts to overall travel time, route length, capital expenditure, and operating costs identified in the program level environmental clearance, does this level of ridership continue to justify the inclusion of Palmdale in the Phase 1 system?
|2/22/2020||Website||Evany||Zirul||We need to modernize and support High Speed Rail. As an individual very concerned about transportation and automobiles in the modern times, we need an efficient way of getting from San Francisco to Southern California.
|2/22/2020||Website||Kathleen||Trinity||The High Speed Rail Draft Business Plan, 2020, has none of its three stated advantages: 1.Economic benefits, 2.Mobility benefits, or 3.Environmental benefits.
1.The proposed route from Palmdale to Burbank will destroy well positioned and viable equine and other farm animal facilities and services in Acton, specifically along Red Rover Mine Canyon. The facilities here are connected to ranch homes and often involve mutual cooperation among neighboring ranches. These cannot be easily moved to alternate sites where shade trees, well water, trails, protection from weather conditions, and neighbor cooperation may not exist. Most of these facilities would simply sell off and fail to relocate. The area would be decimated not only for the equine centered community, but for the families and homes for at least four square miles. Elevated noise levels, pulsing approximately every five minutes during peak hours would make operation of facilities with the attendant services of riding and exercise impossible. Horses are not cows who might develop some adjustment to noise. Even stated bovine accommodation to increased noise levels has not been scientifically proven by blood tests to determine stress. Studies( Noise and Stress:a Comprehensive Approach, Jack Westman and James R. Walter's, Enviornmental Health Perspectives, vol. 41, 1981). have shown the negative effects on both health and performance of high decibel and periodic high decibel noise intrusions to both humans and animals, including wildlife.
In addition, since high speed rail intends to operate on diesel fuel for approximately ten years prior to switching to electrical infrastructure, the resulting harmful pollution would further prevent the continued existence of these ranches and home sites.
Thus, the business plan fails to take into account the welfare of local businesses, and of even families who live in related ranch homes.
2. Mobility will not be enhanced along the Palmdale to Burbank corridor. The vast number of possible passengers for high speed rail will not be willing or able to pay for round trip tickets on high speed rail. Any price over $10 to $35 per day is not feasible for most Antelope Valley commuters. Metrolink is now the choice for some local residents who have the option of stopping at various points along the route. High Speed Rail would be severely slowed down by making stops between Lancaster and Burbank, defeating its purpose. Side trips to destination not directly on the route would prove time consuming and impractial.
3. Environmental benefits would be offset by the massive use of concrete and diesel for the foreseeable future. It is highly irresponsible to increase the amount of air pollution in the Antelope Valley, which already has seen a significant rise in air pollution in the last five years. Deisel fuel byproducts have severe health consequences for lung tissue and can even have negative cardiovascular effects. Construction also would release Valley Fever spores , coccidioides. which are endemic to the area (Daily News, Nov. 14, 2017). Attempts to remediate the threat of the spread of the spores would be cost prohibitive and probably ineffective.
High and frequent noise levels created by high speed rail would be an environmental disaster in Acton and the surrounding communities. In Acton and Aguad Dulce the density of homes and ranches tends to be far less than suburban areas thus allowing an interface with the native terrains. This preserves the habitat of native species and provides for natural corridors to protect the biodiversity of the area. Thus, both noise and the actual rail and electrical infrastructure, as well as the intrusive train, would destroy the local natural environment, rural nature, and ranch homes of these communities.
In summary, the Business Plan has not made an adequate assessment of both financial and non financial costs to the communities along the Palmdale to Burbank corridor. Any advantages accruing to High Speed Rail will be to the detriment of local communities in Southetn California, particularly between Palmdale and Burbank. It should also be noted that moving the route from the original I-5 corridor to the more distant Palmdale site necessitates many more miles of construction, much of it mountainous. This is an unsound business decision and needs to be revisited.
|2/22/2020||Website||Paul||Archambeault||Regarding the San Francisco to San Jose segment of the CHSR project: There are approximately 40 grade crossings between San Francisco and San Jose that need to be eliminated to achieve fully high speed operation. I see funding for the San Mateo 25th Ave grade crossing. That work is proceeding. What is the CHSR plan for funding for the elimination of the remaining grade crossings and when will that work begin?|
|2/24/2020||Albert||Prince||The Station For Bakersfield should be Downtown at Amtrak station. vsbcr is
a DBE online news report featuring Bid Ads and news and events for
Valley Small Business & Construction Report
DBE Firm # 40870
|2/24/2020||Michael||Kovarik||A continuing waste of taxpayer money. Fix the potholes. That train will never be economically or environmentally viable.
Sent from Mail for Windows 10
|2/24/2020||Terry L.||Wood||Prop 1a WAS SUPPOSE TO BE A RAIL LINE FROM oRANGE COUNTY TO sAN FRANCISCO, You have tricked the citizens…..someone should be going to jail for bait and switch
saCRAMENTO HAS OVERSTEPPED BY BUILDING A TRAIN TO NO WHERE, WHICH IS TAKING BULLIONS FROM BUILDING WATER STORAGE AND FIXING ROADS THAT NEED IT IN THE CITIES….
Why did building even start from Merced to fresno etc…..it's nothing up there but farm land, no one is going to ride this train….waste of taxpayer money and is fraud?
Is diane Feinstein's husband involved with this company building it?
Shut it down, you ruined farmers and communities already, .......Terry Wood
|2/24/2020||Oana||Angela||This is a terrible waste of taxpayer money. It's sad that our elected officials have no spending restraints and they have taken CA to the dire social and financial condition it is in!
Sent from Mail for Windows 10
|2/24/2020||Art||Banevedes||To whom It may concern:
The people of California can do without a High Speed train, but they can not do without WATER. And when the people run out of water the high Speed Train runs out of people.I agree with Assemblyman Jim Patterson not impressed by the report.
|2/24/2020||Michael||Ritter||Dear California High-Speed Rail Authority,
Please do all that you can to facilitate the completion of the high-speed
rail network that will connect California's high population centers. The
proposal to connect the Central Valley with Silicon Valley is an important
step in making a complete network a reality. California, the place where
innovation happens is falling far behind the rest of the world in
addressing the role of long-distance transportation as a contributor to
global climate change. China has completed an entire country-wide network
in the time that California has been bickering over building its first
line. Small countries around the world with less wealth than California
seem to be able to find the money and political will to move people out of
cars and airplanes into fast trains.
Our children depend on you to do the right thing and support the valley to
Read more here:
|2/24/2020||RUDOLPH||NIEDERER||Please see the Dumbarton/ACE corridor proposal.
Rudy Niederer View email attachment
|2/25/2020||Website||James||Machuga||The business plan/bond issue I voted for 10(?) years ago was for a high speed rail between San Francisco & Los Angles via the valley route through Fresno. It was to be completed in 2020. Its now 2020 and all we have to show is 2 bridges in Fresno and a constant history of budget over runs and misses schedules. AND, a requests for MORE MONEY !
The only business plan I want to read is how the Calif High Speed Rail Authority plans to TERMINATE THE PROJECT by March 31 2020 !
|2/27/2020||Website||Jon||Klingborg||The proposed Merced Extension does not seem worth the $2.5 Billion price tag. As proposed, a city block of businesses would be razed in order to build a new train station in Merced. There will be multiple Eminent Domain issues with this proposal. Instead, why not simply locate the station south of Chowchilla where the "Central Valley Wye" is to be located? No businesses will be disrupted in that location (it's agricultural land), land acquisition will be less expensive and problematic than with established businesses, and $2.5 Billion dollars may be shaved off of the outrageous price tag.|
|3/2/2020||Website||Karen||King||Please see the attached comments. View attached comments.|
|3/14/2020||Website||Lisa||Harley||SHUT THIS DAMN BOONDOOGLE DOWN THIS MINUTE! WHAT AN UTTER WASTE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS. STOP STOP STOP|
|3/18/2020||Website||Scott||Hagelstein||Ten years ago the federal government selected the Central valley for construction?
The California High- Speed Rail Authority selected the central valley so that we
could recieve Federal grant money.
|3/23/2020||Jacki||Ayer||Attached please find comments on the Draft 2020 Business Plan submitted by Save Our Rural Town
Jacqueline AyerDirector, SORT View attached comments.
|3/25/2020||Website||Benjamin||Schneider||I'm excited that the project is proceeding. High speed rail is essential for California's future. I only hope the project can be accelerated and that the northern and southern California segments break ground as soon as possible. I hope the Authority can rethink the LA-San Diego link to make it more direct. Please continue your essential work! You have the voters' support!|
|3/25/2020||Website||Esteban||Solis||I am requesting that the CAHSR keep the funds here in the Central Valley; our population is larger or rivals that of other states, and our car-dependency lends to unhealthy lifestyles across the two valleys of the Central Valley. I have the opportunity to either leave the Fresno/Visalia area to further pursue my career, or to stay and help catalyze the revitalization of Downtown Fresno and to join the impressive tech industry sprouting here. If we lose HSR or funds, I would need to leave this city/valley and worsen the brain drain that exists when our educated youth leave for other metro regions. This is a problem for us and for SoCal, Sacramento, and the Bay Area. Our talent creates more competition and higher costs of living for other parts of the state while leaving us with nothing but blight and poverty.
Please do your due diligence and disallow political forces from SoCal, especially, to strong-arm the CAHSR board from allocating our funds to a region that already has mass transit and billion-dollar transport infrastructure. It's our turn now, and our demographics are highly young, Mexican, other Latino/Hispanic/minority, and educated. Please don't send the wrong message to the future of what CA will look like and continue the 20th Century behavior of ignoring non-white regions while appropriating all of the state's culture, money, and attention to rich, white areas of the state.
Attached please find the Draft 2020 HSR Business Plan Comment Letter from the Town of Atherton. Please also be advised that a hard copy was sent out to you in the mail yesterday, 4/1/2020.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us:
Robert Ovadia, P.E.
Director of Public Works
Town of Atherton
150 Watkins Avenue
Atherton, CA 94027
(650) 752-0541 - Office
Town of Atherton
150 Watkins Avenue
Atherton, CA 94027
In compliance with the Order issued by the Health Officer San Mateo County, the Town of Atherton Offices will be CLOSED to public contact starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020 through 11:59 pm on May 3, 2020. This will not include Police Services. Town services will be limited during this time. Staff will be available by phone and email.
View email attachment.
|4/6/2020||Jim||Mathews||To Whom It May Concern:
After reviewing the 2020 California High Speed Rail Business Plan and the proposed Interim Operating Plan, the Rail Passengers Association (RPA), its President, and its Southwest Division Council Representatives representing 9,000 RPA members in California, recommend the Board adopt both the 2020 Business Plan and proposed Interim Operating Plan at its April Board Meeting. The RPA Southwest Division compliments CHSRA on its continued focus on delivering a broad, integrated California transportation network with high-speed rail service as its core link.
Our formal comments are attached as a PDF submission and we ask that these comments be included in the public record.
The Rail Passengers Association and its California members appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Authority's draft 2020 Business Plan.
President & CEO
Rail Passengers Association/NARP
1200 G St. NW, Suite 240
Washington, DC 20005
[1507305549104_SignatureLogo.png] View email attachment.
|4/9/2020||Website||Austin||M||Whatever elected official or state leader decided Bakersfield to Merced HSR was a priority over LA to SD is a bonehead. The Amtrak LA to San Diego is the MOST profitable and ridden route in all of California based on a 2018 report. How does this make any sense at all. How can someone think a HSR should NOT be in literally the most congested area in the state. You are screwing your citizens. Why did you not consult other companies and countries that already have amazing HSR infrastructure?! This project is such a sorry excuse and a mismanaged pile of garbage.|
|4/10/2020||Steven||Smith||The San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the California High Speed Rail Authority's Draft 2020 High Speed Rail Business Plan. Please see attached comment letter. Thank you.
Steve Smith, P.E.
Director of Planning
San Bernardino County Transportation Authority
1170 West Third Street, 2nd Floor
San Bernardino, CA 92410
909.884.8276 | Office
View email attachment
|4/10/2020||Troy||Hightower||Hello Chair Mendonca,
Attached is a comment letter I would like to submit.
Below is a copy of the text of the attached comment letter.
April 9, 2020
California High-Speed Rail Authority
Attn: Draft 2020 Business Plan
770 L Street, Suite 620 MS-1
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: Draft 2020 Business Plan Comment
Dear Chairman Lenny Mendonca,
I am submitting this comment on behalf of the Californians for High
Speed Rail "CA4HSR". CA4HSR believes that the high speed rail is
essential to meeting the needs of 21st Century California and is
essential to the economic vitality of the State of California. First
of all, we would like to express our long-term support for the
High-Speed Rail project and want to ensure its success.
It has come to our attention that there is a "Gap" in coverage between
the "FRA Approved Fresno-Bakersfield Supplemental LGA" environmental
document and the Draft Bakersfield-Palmdale environmental document.
Specifically, from the location where the LGA EIR ends at the
intersection of 34th Street and L Street (depicted on the attached
map) in Bakersfield and where the draft Bakersfield-Palmdale EIR
begins at Oswell Street. This Gap covers a distance of five miles in
central Bakersfield. We added graphics to the map we copied from the
"Draft Bakersfield-Palmdale EIR" document that highlights the Gap we
are referring to.
The following excerpt is from page two of the "Fresno-Bakersfield
Supplemental LGA ROD: Explanatory Cover Note", which explains the
location of where the LGA ends (attached).
"The Supplemental ROD is the Authority's approval under NEPA, as NEPA
lead agency, of the F-B LGA. It changes the FRA's 2014 ROD but only
regarding the portion of the Fresno to Bakersfield Section south of
Poplar Avenue in Shafter. This Supplemental ROD approves for
implementation the F-B LGA Project between Poplar Avenue in Shafter
and the 34th and L Street intersection in Bakersfield."
The following excerpt from page four of the "Draft
Bakersfield-Palmdale Report Volume 1 Summary" explains that the Gap (F
Street Station to Oswell Street) is incorporated by reference to the
Fresno-Bakersfield Supplemental LGA. However, as stated above, the LGA
approved by the FRA does not extend east of the proposed F Street
Station site (34th & L Street) to Oswell Street where the
Bakersfield-Palmdale section begins.
"The Bakersfield F Street Station analysis for the Fresno to
Bakersfield Project Section has been incorporated by reference into
this EIR/EIS, with summaries provided based on complete analyses
prepared for the Fresno to Bakersfield Section Final Supplemental EIR
(Authority 2018) and Final Supplemental EIS (Authority 2019). The
impact analyses for the alignment from the F Street Station to Oswell
Street are also incorporated by reference, with summaries of the
analysis for this area included in applicable sections and chapters of
this EIR/EIS. Therefore, this EIR/EIS incorporates the analysis from
the intersection of 34th Street and L Street to Oswell Street."
By incorporating reference to the 2014 Fresno-Bakersfield EIR, which
has been approved by the FRA, it includes the Hybrid alignment that
goes through downtown Bakersfield, which includes a HSR station at
Truxtun Avenue and continues east to the terminus at Oswell Street.
We are bringing this to your attention because of our interest in
supporting and improving the High-Speed Rail project in any way we
can. The Gap leads us to believe that it would be in the interest of
the CAHSR Authority and the people of Bakersfield to reconsider both
the Fresno-Bakersfield Hybrid and LGA alignments to determine a better
solution for the High-Speed Rail project.
Troy Hightower, CEO Date
Attachment: Gap Map
Troy D. Hightower
TDH Associates International
Po Box 2493
Bakersfield, CA 93303
SB/DBE Certified CUCP # 41593 View email attachment
|4/10/2020||Neelam||Dorman||Attached please find a comment letter for the CHSR 2020 Business Plan from the City of Anaheim.
Neelam Dorman, TE
Principal Transportation Planner
City of Anaheim
Public Works Department Traffic and Transportation
200 South Anaheim Boulevard Suite 276
Anaheim, CA 92805
View email attachment
|4/10/2020||Website||Seitu||Coleman||Hi, this is just a short comment. I would like to note some concern over utilizing a blended configuration on the segment between San Jose Diridon Station and the future planned Gilroy Station, as noted on page 81 of the Draft 2020 Business Plan. My reason for concern is that blending high-speed rail service with Caltrain and the Union Pacific Railroad means speed conflicts and capacity constraints between the different services. These conflicts and constraints will in turn deteriorate future service for both high-speed rail and Caltrain passengers. My suggestion is to include an option in the preferred alternative to easily expand the corridor to four tracks (or five), so that high-speed rail trains can run on a grade-separated, dedicated set of FRA Class 9 speed tracks with no conflicts with Caltrain or Union Pacific freight trains. The obvious reason that the current alternative has only three tracks is to reduce capital costs, but by environmentally clearing a four-track wide (or more) alignment in the environmental review process now, it will become much easier to expand the corridor from the currently planned three tracks to four when additional funds are identified. The project will be future-proofed for expansion to improve service and handle higher passenger capacities. Hopefully, the same future proofing will be done for the corridor between San Jose and San Francisco as well.|
|4/10/2020||Website||Robert||Ball||4/10/20 - Uploaded comment letter with 24 comments attached. View attachment|
|4/10/2020||Website||Kevin||lewin||Why not start a publicly owned airline? As someone who frequently travels north to south, this seems like a terrible option. In addition, the Sacramento to San Francisco Amtrak is not cheap at about $36 each way. Won't the proposed train fare exceed an airline ticket?|
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Cathleen||Galgiani||Thank you, Mr. Chair and Members. I'm here in support of the Governor's vision to go ahead and complete the Merced to Bakersfield full alignment. I have long been a supporter of also giving money towards the Southern California alignments and have a long history of spending a lot of time in Southern California, particularly when it was raised that it was possible to build the high-speed rail alignment within the existing alignment of Metrolink.
I also would fully advocate for extending Cap and Trade beyond 2030, so that we have the additional ability to work toward those goals, but today I am here in support of the Merced to Bakersfield Alignment. It has long been envisioned. Since 2010 I've been advocating for extending up to Merced where the line could connect with the ACE system, which carries commuters into the Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. Today over 150,000 individuals are commuting over the Altamont and that largely includes a large population from this section, Merced to Bakersfield.
One subject that I want to draw to your attention that I've been discussing with my colleagues in the Legislature is that this isn't just a transportation plan this is part of the solution for affordable housing. Since the late 1990s, the Legislature has been discussing the problem of the jobs housing balance. And there was an effort at that time to try to incentivize more building of homes in jobs-rich areas and more building of companies bringing jobs in housing-rich areas. And then the economy declined and those incentives that we hoped to bring about in the budget went away.
So we have continued to have the growth of jobs in the Bay Area and the Silicon Valley and thus individuals have continued to move to the Central Valley in search of affordable housing. So while the Legislature passed a bond measure and placed it on the ballot that the voters approved in 2016, for $4 billion in affordable housing, I'm asking you to remember my constituents who are the workers who drive the economy in the Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. They are the workers who were realistic that they didn't have the means to afford homes where they work. So they were realistic and bought their homes in the Central Valley and chose, for the trade-off, for spending up to three hours, six hours each day commuting to their job.
So while the state is investing $4 billion in affordable housing I'm asking us to remember that high-speed rail in the Central Valley is also an investment in affordable housing. Thank you, very much.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Roland||Labrun||Hello, Directors, thank you again for the opportunity.
I'm not questioning the validity of the models, but one thing I have got issue with is when somehow the input to the models is being manipulated and I'm going to give you two examples, is ridership and costs. These models are basically taking Caltrain ridership, which is quite idiotic. You're basically looking at job and housing density within two miles of a station. Well sorry, San Jose it doesn't work like that, because the first thing you're going to hit is something called Coyote Valley. Guess what? It's a preservation area and then it just carries on and you just go down.
But if you take a completely different approach and you think about the corridor between San Jose and Gilroy essentially being a funnel, it's a funnel for five counties. It's Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito, and even Fresno and Merced. What we're seeing there on Highway 101 is an excess of 120,000 single-occupant vehicles going up into Silicon Valley and back in the evening. So if you add them up you end up with a quarter of a million.
Now, when you start looking at that from that point of view and say, "Well, what a tremendous opportunity, what if you could just grab 10 percent, maybe 25,000 riders a day out of that?" You're now going to look at the issue of costs and you end up with something very similar to what KPMG are proposing.
We actually started looking at when Deutsche Bahn provided the CapEx Report to the Legislature last year. And if you now start thinking of Caltrain just buying, just like Deutsche Bahn says eight high-speed trains, you're actually going to find out these trains are cheaper than what Caltrain is going to buy from Switzerland, Utah and god knows where. And these trains will actually be manufactured in Sacramento and in Pittsburg, California. And you're going to see at that point what the benefit is.
But we're not asking you for your money. We're asking for your support. Make it possible for us to do this, operate these trains and show what we can do. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Troy||Hightower||Good afternoon Chair and Members of the Board. My name is Troy Hightower. I'm an independent transportation consultant from Bakersfield. I have two comments some of which I've made before to the Board previously. The main is recommending operating the Central Valley interim service using the existing Amtrak station in downtown Bakersfield.
The other is encourage the Authority to consider locating maintenance facilities at the Kern County sites that were submitted as part of the original request for siting of the heavy maintenance facilities.
I'll go over briefly some of the reasons I believe the Amtrak station worked. One is the readiness. It's ready to go now. It was part of the original Fresno-Bakersfield EIR/EIS. So electrifying from Poplar along BNSF to that station is in the EIR, so it's environmentally cleared.
The City of Bakersfield submitted a letter to the Authority, stated their opposition to any kind of interim station at Poplar and quoting they said, "Electrifying the adjacent BNSF Amtrak rail line in order to allow high-speed rail trains to continue to the existing Bakersfield Amtrak station on an interim basis." And that's a quote from their letter.
I have reviewed the Draft 2020 Business Plan. I do support it. I've reviewed the studies and I do support the importance of the interim operation. I think what I'm recommending by using the existing station will get us early ridership. And I think ridership is the most important thing to get out at this point in the project or any project.
Both the Business Plans and the studies mentioned a cross-platform connection to the Thruway buses. That's currently what happens at the Amtrak station. I came here on the Amtrak station from Bakersfield and the train was full and the majority of all of those people came up on the buses.
Thank you, Chair.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Sara||Cribari Hill||Good afternoon Chairman, Board members, Mr. Kelly and staff. My name is Sara Cribari Hill and I'm the CEO of the Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce. And I'm here today to express the Chamber's support for High-Speed Rail and the Draft 2020 Business Plan. The Merced to Bakersfield interim operating segment will generate significant economic benefits for Merced, the Central Valley and the entire state. It will result in approximately $38 billion in total economic activity and create an abundance of jobs. The Chamber supports the Plan, because it moves high-speed rail closer to Merced and benefits all of California. Thank you.|
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Mike||Murphy||Good afternoon, Mr. Chair, Board Members, Mr. Kelly and staff. I'm Mike Murphy. I'm the Mayor of the City of Merced and also a small business owner. I've been a longtime advocate of high-speed rail and believe that the 2020 Business Plan is the path to successful high-speed rail service in California. Not only is high-speed rail an economic boost with construction jobs today, it will bring thousands of green jobs when it begins operations.
The Draft Business Plan keeps costs in line with the 2018 Plan, improves air quality, reduces travel time and is a key step to the statewide high-speed rail system. The City of Merced supports the Business Plan, because it connects ACE and the San Joaquins', provides the vital test track needed to begin the system, and lays the backbone for high-speed rail here in the Golden State.
I also wanted to mention that he had to leave during the break, but the Superintendent and President of Merced College was also here, and would share his support as well. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Michael||Rosson||Good afternoon Mr. Chair and Members of the Board. My name is Mike Rosson and I'm the Senior Transit Analyst with Sacramento Area Council of Governments. And I'm up here on behalf of James Corless, Executive Director for SACOG, Sacramento Area Council of Governments.
Sacramento Area Council of Governments is in support of the Governor's rail plan and CHSRA's policy recommendation to continue pursuing a Merced-Fresno-Bakersfield interim operating segment for high-speed rail. The Merced-Fresno-Bakersfield interim operating segment will leverage the maximum degree of connectivity to other intercity rail services, including the improvements to the ACE, San Joaquin services that link our region to the IOS Terminus in Merced.
SACOG has adopted 2020 Metropolitan Transportation Plan and Sustainable Community Strategy, assumes enhanced intercity rail connections integrated with high-speed rail over the coming years. The Plan also lays out a transportation investment and land use strategy to support a prosperous region with access to jobs and economic opportunity, transportation options and affordable housing that serves all residents.
Outcomes we anticipate from implementing the MTP, SCS include better air quality, open space and national resources preservation in helping California achieve the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
The Merced-Fresno-Bakersfield interim operating segment is an important step forward in expanding mobility options throughout the Central Valley and beyond. The success of this early interim service is essential towards implementing the ultimate high-speed rail system between the Bay Area, Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.
And I have included a copy of James Corless's support letter for the members of the Board. Thank you. View Sacramento Area Council of Government's letter.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Rene||Gutierrez||Good afternoon, Chair and Authority Members. Good afternoon, my name is Rene Gutierrez. I represent the Merced County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce advocates and promotes and networks with Hispanic and non-Hispanic businesses in Merced County.
As you all know in California and through the corridor, which high-speed rail is going to be going through, you have over 50 percent population of Hispanics. We are here to show our strong support once you guys build. We are here to collaborate and partner with you guys to get the word out, the media out and get the Hispanic community on Board riding the bullet train. So as you all know I've actually been in Fresno, that's what it's known as. So if we can partner together in the future just let us know.
So with an investment of $4 billion and based on the data provided by today's studies describing the change of ridership, revenues and congestion relief, the Merced County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce strongly supports the 2020 Draft Business Plan to move forward with the Governor's proposal and the High-Speed Rail staff recommendations to pursue a more attractive interim operating segment between Merced and Bakersfield, providing high-speed rail service to Californians at the earliest possible time.
Based on the information on this slide, the Merced to Bakersfield will likely happen before ten years with the other two options, or it's going to be past ten years. We want to get the train on the track as soon as possible and the Hispanic community on board. So thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Michael||Sigala||Good afternoon Mr. Chairman, Board. Thank you for allowing us to provide comments. I'm representing the San Joaquin Valley Regional Policy Council, which is the collection of the eight regional transportation planning agencies or COGs of the San Joaquin Valley. We submitted a letter, thank you very much for putting that up in front. We have coalesced around this item, which always hasn't been the case, but we think it's very important for us. We've included it in our platform for Valley Voice, for our annual advocacy of Sacramento. And many of our colleagues are here individually from individual COGs as well today.
We support the 2020 Business Plan and build-out of the interim operating segment. We support all long-term transportation investments in the Valley and high-speed rail is obviously an important piece of that puzzle. High-speed rail will lay the cornerstone for our future growth, prosperity and economic integration with the rest of California. And the commitment to the interim operating segment allows us to strategically plan for future development consistent with California's climate goals, including facilitating transit-oriented development, multi-modalism and meaningful economic development in the Valley among many other benefits.
California needs a high-speed rail passenger system. We currently have a system under construction and now is the time to complete that work that has started. There is way too much to lose in the Valley without it. Thank you for your commitment and partnership to us.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Dan||Leavitt||Good afternoon Chairman Mendonca, members of the Board. I'm Dan Leavitt. I represent the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission and the Central Valley Rail Working Group. The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission is the owner-operator of the ACE rail service. And the Central Valley Rail Working Group is a 20-agency working group that includes all the regional transportation planning agencies, regional operators in major cities in the Sacramento to Merced corridor. Both of these groups strongly support the Draft 2020 California High-Speed Rail Authority Business Plan. That includes moving forward with the Merced-Fresno-Bakersfield high-speed rail interim operating segment and additional stops at Kings/Tulare and Madera.
Sacramento and the northern San Joaquin Valley will greatly benefit from the interim high-speed rail operations. We will continue to work with you to ensure the success of high-speed rail operations and to make sure that improved and expanded San Joaquins' and ACE services meet with high-speed rail at your intermodal station in Merced.
Please take action in April to move forward with the recommendations of your Draft 2020 Business Plan and implement true high-speed rail service in California.
I did want to note that a number of entities are here today but some aren't and so we do have some letters we'd like to submit that are already having support for this concept. And also the vice mayor of Stockton was here for 2 1/2 hours but he had to leave. He wanted to let you know he's got an election in two weeks, but this is very, very important to him so he was here; unfortunately had to leave and so I would like to insert his comments as well too. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Vito||Chiesa||Good afternoon, Chair Mendonca, fellow Board Members, CEO Kelly. Vito Chiesa, San Joaquin County Supervisor, but here as the Chair of the California Partnership San Joaquin and Chair of the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority, the agency responsible for the administration and operation of the San Joaquin rail system. I just want you to know that this morning that I got into a fight with a piece of bacon and I chipped my tooth, so if I whistle when I talk you'll know that it's not intentional. (Laughter.)
I want to express my strong support for the California Partnerships and the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority. There is strong support for the Draft 2020 Business Plan. And thanks, CEO Kelly, his staff and the consultants for their hard work on the Draft Business Plan and its supporting documents.
We strongly support the Board moving forward with the Governor's proposal of the High-Speed Rail staff recommendations and pursue the Merced-Fresno-Bakersfield high-speed rail interim operating segment with additional stops in Kings/Tulare and Madera, providing high-speed rail service to Californians at the earliest possible time. The Merced to Bakersfield high-speed rail interim operating segment will improve access and connectivity to other destinations throughout California through better connections with ACE, the San Joaquin service in the north and the San Joaquin Thruway bus system from Bakersfield traveling to Southern California.
Our upcoming San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority 2020 Draft Business Plan, which will be released later this month, will highlight the coordination that we have been doing with High-Speed Rail and your Early Train Operator. You have my commitment that the San Joaquins' will fully integrate with and support the success of the Merced to Bakersfield interim operating segment. We look forward to continuing to work with you to implement this vision.
I will just point out that this morning I had a quick conversation with Assembly member Gray. I believe in some of his Op-Ed pieces he is very passionate about this. But he just wanted you to know that he has a strong support for moving forward. And I urge you to take action in April to move this forward with the 2020 CHSRA Draft Business Plan. Thank you very much.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Pat||Hume||Good afternoon Chair Mendoza and members of the Board. Pat Hume, I'm a City of Elk Grove Council Member and I'm just down the road a little bit. I'm also on the Sacramento Regional Transportation District and a Vice Chair of the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority from whom you just heard of our Chair. I reserve the right to channel my inner millennial here and get my notes from my phone, but given that they start out with "good morning," I'll probably just leave that alone there.
We're here to show our support for the Board to adopt the Governor's proposal on the interim segment for Merced to Fresno-Bakersfield. We here in the local region as well as our regional elective and Sacramento Regional Transit District and the San Joaquin Powers Authority have lobbied to get over a billion dollars of SB 1 funds in order to improve some of the system access north of Merced, so we're hoping that someday we can enter into an additional connectivity. But in the meantime we've done a lot to try to provide that access to the greater Sacramento region. So we would like for you to take action on this plan that's put before you come April. Thank you very much.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Jameson||Parker||Good afternoon, Chair and Board members. My name is Jameson Parker. I'm the Director of Advocacy and Capital Improvements for the Midtown Association. The Midtown Association is a property business improvement district representing about 1200 property owners here in Sacramento. We're very focused on improving the transportation network.
We know of living in a constrained environment that we have to focus on improving other active alternative transportation modes. And we've been lucky enough to have been working with the staff with the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority on bringing passenger rail service right through the heart of midtown, with one of their stations being located at between Q and R Street on 19th and 20th Street. We really feel like that's going to add value to the surrounding neighborhood, the businesses in that community.
We also believe that pairing that passenger rail service with the Business Plan that is before you today is going to add even more additional improvements to the community. So I'm here just to ask that you move the current recommendation forward including the interim operating segment between Merced and Bakersfield and approve the Business Plan. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Gil||Esquer||Good afternoon Mr. Chairman, Board Members. My name is Gil Esquer. I am a City Council Member from Turlock, California. Also a member of the Stanislaus Council of Governments and I'm here to support the 2020 Business Plan as it is. I urge acceptance of the 2020 Business Plan. Also, I ask not to divert the funds, the $5 billion. Thank you very much.|
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Bill||Zoslocki||Good morning Chair and the Board Members. I appreciate you taking the time to hear from us and taking public comments. My name is Bill Zoslocki, I am a - that was close, that was good. Just forget the "s," it's really not there, okay. We just put it in there just to see if anybody's paying attention. Thank you, though. Anyway, my name is Bill Zoslocki. I am a City Council Member with the City of Modesto as well as past chair and current member of Stanislaus Council of Governments and an ex officio of the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission.
And as we are discussing this I can't tell you the earth-breaking abilities that is before us that will influence and change forever the San Joaquin Valley some of the challenges that we have. Fully support, I fully support the 2020 Draft Business Plan that staff has given you to review as well as the Governor in supporting that particular draft. It will significantly change things within our strategic area and that whole entire Central Valley as well as interconnections as we move forward into the southern link. I don't want to say anything more other than we support it. Thank you so much.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Jenny||Kenoyer||We all came from the area with really difficult names. Chair and Board Members, my name is Jenny Kenoyer. I am a Council Member from the City of Modesto and also a member of the Stanislaus Council of Governments.
I can't express any better than Senator Galgiani did and the people that have spoken before me about the need to continue developing the Bakersfield to Merced extension. So I am here to say that I am very much in favor of the Draft 2020 Business Plan. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Rosa||De Leon Park||Thank you. Good afternoon Chair Mendonca and Members of the Board, Assembly member Arambula, but who's left, and CEO Kelly and the public. My name is Rosa De Leon Park. I'm the Executive Director of the Stanislaus Council of Governments in the City of Modesto. Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Also Stanislaus has provided a letter that Dan Leavitt mentioned earlier, so we have submitted a letter of support.
I would also like to express our strong support of the Governor's proposal and the California High-Speed Rail Authority staffs' recommendation to pursue the Merced-Fresno-Bakersfield high-speed rail interim operating segment, with the additional stops to Kings/Tulare and Madera, providing high-speed rail service to Californians at the earliest time possible. But also look forward to your action that you will take in April, so thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Mike||Karbassi||Chair Mendonca and Board I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. I'm a Councilman from the City of Fresno. My name is Mike Karbassi. Mayor Lee Brand can't be here today unfortunately because he's ill.
I want to make it very clear from the get-go the City of Fresno is fully supportive of the Business Plan as is. I was born and raised in my community of Fresno and I've got to admit there's been a lot of folks over the years that have felt they have been left behind by Sacramento, but that all changed when this Board chose to locate the first segment of high-speed rail in the Central Valley, starting in 2015. It finally made a lot of us feel like we finally have a voice.
That decision is now being questioned, because another region is trying to hijack these funds for its own benefit, the funds that are essential to complete the Valley project. Now the Valley fortunately has an ally in Governor Gavin Newsom. And the Governor has continued to demonstrate his commitment to Fresno and the Central Valley, and we ask that you join the Governor in his promise not to leave us behind.
Now I've known a lot of folks that have been skeptical of high-speed rail and a lot of them came around and they are now on board, pun intended, because they see clearly there is a huge benefit to locating the first segment and connecting the Central Valley to the Bay Area in Southern California. The fact is this move is an economic game changer for my community. It's an economic game changer for Fresno.
Now Fresno has been Ground Zero for high-speed rail for a few years now, but it hasn't always been easy. We've had hundreds of businesses relocated. We've had some businesses, because of that leave the community or close down. We've had street closures planned for a year that are now taking three years. And what that does, that loss in revenue is less discretionary funding for core services like public safety or park maintenance. But we are more than willing as a community to weather that financial storm because we are counting on the promises of this Board and the economic impact generated from that promise.
So there was a very thoughtful comment earlier about the investments and benefits of high-speed rail. I'll go real quick, I want to give you guys a baseline that we work with in Fresno. Our poverty rate, 30 percent of our population lives in poverty. The average household income in Fresno for a family is $41,500. In Anaheim it's almost double that, it's $76,600. so I ask you, which community has the working families that can really value these good-paying jobs more?
I'm going to summarize this up, because I'm out of time. So basically, it's really important, because high-speed rail runs through the middle of the western portion of my district. The last thing the Governor wants, the last thing the City of Fresno wants, and I hope the last thing the Board wants is a giant monolith, a monument to broken promises from Sacramento. We want to get this completed. We've invested our blood, sweat and tears and our very limited pocketbook in securing a quarter of $1 million for our land option for a high-speed rail maintenance station.
And we ask you to not continue that legacy of broken promises for the Central Valley, urge you to restore your faith in Fresno, the Central Valley, your commitment to our working families in need. And we ask you to finish what we started in partnership together. Let's stay the course. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Oliver||Baines||Thank you. Good afternoon, Members of the Board. And I cannot be any more eloquent then my friend Michael Karbassi, so what I will say is this, is obviously we are here. We are in complete support of the draft Business Plan.
I want to use my time to chat a little bit about some of the discussion I heard earlier. And I wish AssemblymemberAssembly member Arambula was here, because I wholeheartedly agree with his sentiment regarding the Valley and our air quality problems.
I was the former Chair of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. And I was somewhat distressed to hear how it was not understood of the significant challenges that we have in air quality in the San Joaquin Valley. Funny enough, tougher than even Southern California. So I want to make sure that it's understood that our air pollution problems aren't simply, because of agriculture. They really are because of truck driving that drives from Southern California to Northern California not stopping in the Central Valley, actually polluting us. So we actually are being harmed by the commerce from Southern California to Northern California.
And lastly, I want to make sure that this Board understands historically where Fresno has been in its support of High-Speed Rail and this project. And not so too distant of a past, a high-speed rail was an extremely controversial, vitriol issue in the state of California. Fresno was the first city to publicly support the High-Speed Rail project. We have been here from the beginning. Our community has stood behind this even with a Republican mayor and, at the time, a majority Republican council. This community stood behind High-Speed Rail. We know that you all are going to have decisions to make about how and where to place your heavy maintenance facility. To let you know we have been preparing for that for over a decade. We have a simple plan and we have done everything we needed to make sure we are prepared for what high-speed rail is.
And lastly, to this Board I admire the fact, the historicity of this moment that you guys have. Building the first high-speed rail project in the United States is an incredible honor and I hope you all do the justice that it deserves. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Tony||Boren||Good afternoon everyone. Tony Boren, Executive Director Fresno Council of Governments, the regional transportation planning agency for Fresno County Regent.
First thing, I just want to go on the record and state that Fresno College is in support of the draft 2020 Business Plan as has been presented.
Now I'm just going to throw some planning statistics at you to really make the case for why as a planning agency we're supportive of the project. Number one, the San Joaquin Valley is the fastest growing area in the state of California. Our population growth in the Valley from 1980 to 2015 outpaced the state average by over 60 percent and the national average by over 100 percent. All indications are this growth trend will continue. And by any metric I think you could argue that the San Joaquin Valley is the new frontier in the state of California.
Some other numbers, by 2050 the Valley's population will increase to over 6 million from its current 4 million people. That takes us from our current share from about 11 percent to about 12.5 percent. Again, I think all indications are this will continue. And I think we have to understand that if we're going to address this population growth, electrified high-speed rail has to be the backbone of our sustainable transportation future. It just has to be.
Another statistic that's a little bit unusual, most folks aren't aware of it, that nearly 60 percent of our population live within five miles of the state Route 99 corridor. That's about 2.5 million people. But if you factor in that population growth we just talked about that's going to take us to about 3.7 million people living within 5 miles of the 99 corridor. I think everybody who is familiar with the 99 understands its importance in terms of the goods movement for people, goods throughout the Valley, inter-valley and throughout the state.
And then lastly, something that we don't talk about a whole lot but I think is very important, Fresno Yosemite International Airport is the largest regional airport in the Valley. In 2019 over 650,000 passengers used the facility. That is an increase of almost 11 percent from the previous year. This trend is anticipated to continue and highlights the importance of an intermodal plain to high-speed rail connection that will be necessary with the values to achieve a sustainable transportation future as envisioned by the state. I know my time is up. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Will||Oliver||Good afternoon. Good afternoon, Chair Mendonca and Members of the Board. My name is Will Oliver, Vice President of Business Services for the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation and past member of Madera City Council and Madera County Transportation Commission. I'm here today in support of the 2020 Business Plan as presented. The fact of the matter is redirecting money to Southern California away from capital star of Central Valley communities offers a solution in search of a problem. And recommitting ourselves to potential this project hands on those communities will drive economic transformation.
Fresno is ready for that conversation and that future and the Valley to Valley connectivity is central to it.
Most recently our community finalized a comprehensive, community-based plan called "Developing the Region's Inclusive and Vibrant Economy," otherwise known as DRIVE, creating the value proposition and investment plan to lift our communities and its people out of generational poverty. Connecting the Silicon Valley and Central Valley is central to activating that plan for the future. With our growing population, short commute times, lower costs of doing business, affordable housing and untapped opportunities for innovation the building blocks of a dynamic economy and recovery are in place if targeted infrastructure investments are made and policy considerations are carried out thoughtfully.
With growth slowing in large coastal areas the Central Valley is one of the few remaining places of California where it is possible to plan for significant growth pole envisioning a way that builds the economies, communities and a desired future inclusively.
Shortening the area that separates us through high-speed rail we can draw on the talent, innovation and capital via the Valley to Valley corridor connecting our universities and leveraging the agricultural capital of the United States, the Central Valley and the innovation capital of the world, the Silicon Valley.
During its initial operation years the Valley to Valley connection via high-speed rail can be the push that moves Fresno and the Valley forward. Automatically becomes a key part of company relocations to locate here. It's shortlisted as a popular destination for new companies and directs new investment into our downtowns and commercial districts.
In short, high-speed rail is central Valley's new deal. With high-speed rail we can drive an economic transportation. Without it, it leaves the Valley anemic and without any prescription on ways to address challenges that have failed to evade us.
Again, we ask the Board to recommit itself to achieve the Valley to Valley vision to build a more just, inclusive and vibrant economy for all of our regions to thrive. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Carole||Goldsmith||Well good afternoon everyone, Chairman. My name is Carole Goldsmith and I'm the President of Fresno City College, so as an educator I'd like to take a special note to look at the participation points that the Valley gets. We've certainly done our homework today.
I'm here to launch my formal support of the Business Plan as presented, a plan that supports the continuing construction throughout the Central Valley from Kern, Fresno to Merced. Thank you for allowing us to speak about our support for the Business Plan, once approved will significantly improve the air quality for our Valley and the entire California and of course improve our economic outlook.
The work to prepare the Valley for the high-speed rail and the operation of the heavy maintenance facility began about a decade ago. And to reiterate the presentation previously the Central Valley's segment offers the best return for investment for that initial build out.
There are four community colleges in the Fresno County area, soon to be five: Fresno City College being the largest, Reedley, Clovis, Madera and of course West Hills. Ten years ago when this work started I was the Vice Chancellor out at West Hills. And I remember all too well from the Valley, from Merced to Bakersfield, educators coming together to talk about the promise of high-speed rail and what that would mean to education and the economy and our youth. In fact, my fellow president from Merced City College was here to also enter his support, but unfortunately had to leave.
In the Valley I think it's important to talk about the work that we have done. As Will spoke about the DRIVE initiative that work builds upon the K-12, community college, higher ed business partners' work. And countless sessions have occurred in terms of changing our curriculum, how we deliver instruction to prepare for this moment.
So fast forward ten years I'm now the president of Fresno City College, California's first community college. It was an innovative idea just like this high-speed rail is an innovative idea and over 34,000 students who are looking forward to this plan coming to fruition. In preparation for that we have altered our curriculum. We've entered into agreements with the trades. We are the number one transfer agency for STEM in engineering to Fresno State and UC Merced.
And I'll wrap up by saying this. I formally want you to know that everybody here has done their work over ten years to bring forward a plan that is bold for California. Please deliver on that. I formally ask you to improve and implement the Business Plan. The Valley has worked in good faith to support this worthy endeavor. Please, and also consider placing the heavy maintenance facility in Fresno. Thank you so much.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Chuck||Riojas||Good afternoon. Thank you for the opportunity to come before you. My name is Chuck Riojas. I'm a 33-year member of the IBEW. I'm an electrician by trade, but I am also the elected head of Building Trades. And I do, with all my support, support this Business Plan, the 2020 Business Plan. We need high-speed rail in the Central Valley. I echo every comment that was made before me. We're highly supportive of it in the Central Valley, always has been. I was part of the Fresno works team for ten years ago, twelve years ago.
The building trades have modified and engaged in pre-apprenticeship training in preparation for high-speed rail. I've been fortunate enough to take two trips to Europe to learn what it takes to build high-speed rail, to maintain high-speed rail. In the Central Valley it is a game changer.
I can echo the comments of Councilmember Karbassi, my good friend Oliver Baines. In the Central Valley this is a game changer. When you talk about an impact, when you talk about bang for the buck there is no other place in the state if not in the nation where the impact can be more positive. So I highly support the 2020 Business Plan. Let us continue to do the good work, let us build this thing out. We are transforming lives.
One quick comment. When it talks about our school district we have the third largest school district in the state in Fresno Unified. I just completed a Project Labor Agreement on one of their schools. The catalyst for that was the high-speed rail. And if I had more time I can tell you how that whole thing comes to play there. We do have it. We are in negotiations with the Project Labor Agreement at State Center Community College. There is an MOU to take their certificated students into the building trades. So what we are building because of high-speed rail ten years ago is a pipeline from K through 12 to State Center Community College to hire apprenticeship. We are completing that pipeline in the Central Valley, all with the aspect of high-speed rail coming to the Central Valley, true high-speed rail.
So I do support the Governor's plan. I do support the 2020 Business Plan. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Isaac||Moreno||Thank you Chairman, Board members. My name is Isaac Moreno. I'm the Assistant City Manager for the City of Selma. I just want to come before you today to be able to support the 2020 Business Plan. The city is in the process of executing a contract to develop a training program with the High-Speed Rail currently. As a disadvantaged community this program will give our citizens, surrounding communities, a path to gain the quality jobs, skills that are much needed to increase our low median income levels and reduce our higher than the average state unemployment rates. This program will ensure a great job force that can transition directly into a local high-speed rail maintenance facility. And again, this will bring higher paid jobs to our community.
Driving in today I saw a banner hanging from the rail system with a simple but strong statement, "3,000 Jobs." Let's continue to work together and grow that number in the Valley in approving the 2020 Business Plan. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Mike||Leonardo||Good afternoon. Mike Leonardo, the Executive Director for the Fresno County Transportation Authority. We administer the half-cent sales tax gathered in Fresno County for transportation. I wanted to tell you because many of you are different now, but I had the pleasure of actually serving for five years, serving you for five years on your rail delivery partner and so I'm personally very invested in the project. We're working on the Valley EIR/EIS from Fresno down to Bakersfield, the two EIRs.
You've already heard from others on why we want you want to pick the Valley to Valley. I'm not going to go into that in any more depth. But I do want to talk to you just a minute about the heavy maintenance facility, how Fresno County has skin in the game, and I think that's something that's lacking at the other sites. In 2010 Fresno County Transportation Authority allocated $25 million our half-cent sales tax towards high-speed rail if the Fresno site was selected for the heavy maintenance facility.
In 2017 we partnered with the city of Fresno to obtain options on those properties, so we spent about $500,000 of that. Unfortunately those options expired before a decision was made so we no longer have those in place. But there's still $24.5 million that are dedicated to this heavy maintenance facility.
I know on an $80-million-dollar project that's not a lot of money, but still to us I think $24.5 million is still a lot of money.
I'm confident that the Fresno site meets all of the technical criteria for the HMF. It was included in your Fresno to Bakersfield EIR. In fact, there was substantial effort done at the time to make sure that it was environmentally clear because of some issues at the north end. Given the technical adequacy of the site, the fact that it's environmentally clear and that it comes with a $24.5 million incentive we think that Fresno is clearly the best choice. And we ask that you pick that for the site of your heavy maintenance facility. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||John||Greene||Hi, my name's John Green. I recently joined the faculty of the Lyles College of Engineering at California State University Fresno after more than 20 years in the railway industry. I'm also a member of the High-Speed Rail Committee of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association and the Vice Chairperson of its Education and Training Committee.
The California High-Speed Rail project was the reason I relocated my family from Illinois to Fresno. At Fresno State we are excited about the opportunities not the high-speed rail service will bring to our students. We are educating our students for technical careers in the rail industry. We have already began offering courses in railway engineering and dozens of students are enrolled. Our graduates are making great contributions to the High-Speed Rail project. Our alumni Diana Gomez is a shining example and serves as the Central Valley Director of the project.
High-speed rail is an engine for economic growth. In Spain, Germany and China cities similar to Fresno have seen great economic growth in a short period of time with high-speed rail. It is critical that the initial segment connecting Fresno with Merced and Bakersfield be completed as originally planned so that it becomes the backbone linking Silicon Valley to Southern California.
Also, it is important not to substitute diesels for electric trains. Only electrically powered trains can reach the amazing speeds of 220 miles an hour that we were promised. The emergence of a technologically advanced rail industry in the Central Valley will provide opportunities for research and innovation for the Central Valley's young people. High-speed rail is important for our region and may be the most transformative infrastructure project of our lifetime.
We urge you to complete the project as planned. And thank you for your continued support.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Lee Ann||Eager||Good afternoon. I'm Lee Ann Eager. For the past over ten year's decade I have been the President and CEO of Fresno County Economic Development Corporation and at the same time the Co-Chair of Fresno Works. And all those folks who came up before me were part of the Fresno works team, which was a support group for high-speed rail.
In the State of California right now there's a project called All Regions Rise Together, because we know in this state that when one region fails, when one region is in trouble the entire state is. And we know historically that the Central Valley region has had its struggles. The High-Speed Rail has been one of those shining stars that we have been following for the last ten years to bring change to the Central Valley, to understand what's going to happen in the Central Valley when we have connectivity between the Central Valley and San Francisco and Los Angeles.
And the federal government saw that about eight years ago when they came to this inter-valley to present us with that check to say this is the backbone of high-speed rail for California. But the Central Valley is also the backbone of the state of California. We are the ones that are growing the fastest, we are the ones that are continuing to know what the progress is for the state of California.
You know, just recently I heard a comment from someone that said, "Gee, why Fresno? Why does Fresno think" -- on that page 73 where they list all those facilities that are coming in the Valley — "Why does Fresno think they deserve those?" You might have understood that that made me angry. The thing that we have done in the last ten years and you just saw we have been educating our young people, we have been training our workforce, we have been coming together to ensure that we knew exactly what's going to happen to us and with us. We have opened up our arms and California High-Speed Rail has come through our city and we have been assisting that.
But I can tell you that we have been working for all of those facilities, whichever ones we get. We have been doing the work on the ground. We haven't been hoping that someone will just give it to us. We haven't been hoping that somehow it's going to appear out of nowhere. We have been doing the work. The reason that Fresno deserves any of those or all of those facilities that are on page 73 is because we earned it, because we deserve it and because it's the right thing to do. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Matt||Fell||Thank you Mr. Chair, Board, staff. My name is Matt Fell. I'm with the Merced County Association of Governments. And in September we sent a letter expressing our support for the Merced to Bakersfield segment and I'm here to reiterate that support and express our strong support for the draft 2020 Business Plan. For all the reasons that were identified in the plan it does a great job of showing how and why Merced to Bakersfield is the right thing to do.
I'm especially excited about the mobility hub aspect of this in Merced, so as a COG we do transportation planning, but we happen to have a couple of side jobs running two transit systems. And so I'm extremely excited about having high-speed rail, ACE, the San Joaquins' and our bus systems all at one spot. It's going to provide fabulous mobility to Merced and connectivity throughout the state. And I really look forward to the day where you'll be able to ride a fast train to downtown Merced and then you can jump on one of our buses, maybe go to the University or you can jump on one of our other buses and go all the way to Yosemite National Park. Thank you very much.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Koosun||Kim||Good afternoon. My name is Koosun Kim, I'm Acting Director of the Public Works with the City of Manteca. I'm here to express the strong support for the Board to move forward with the Governor's proposal as well as staff's recommendations. I'm not going to repeat all the benefits associated with the proposal, I just want to share two examples because they might be providing an insightful message.
The City of Manteca is located in between the Stockton and Modesto. We have State Route 120, which is midpoint between the Central Valley and The Bay Area. So we have seen a huge amount of traffic throughout the State, throughout the 120 every single day. The problem is that whenever the condition occurs in the morning we are seeing huge traffic in the local streets. Safety routes to school measures has been compromised because of the increased commuters' traffic in the local downtown. We are suffering from that type of congestion every single day.
The second example is that State Route 120, because of the increase of traffic the last one mile of the Eastbound of the highway became one of the deadliest one-mile highway stretch in the nation; not just in California, in the nation because of the traffic. Even though Caltrans, (indiscernible) stakeholders are working together to improve our highway, the system but we know that that is not enough because it might just be a relatively short-term solution considering the fast-growing population in the Central Valley.
That's why the success of the all interim services is essential toward implementing the ultimate high-speed rail system between the Bay Area, Sacramento, Silicon Valley and Southern California. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Jofil||Borja||Good afternoon Board Members, Mr. Kelly, Mr. Annis, hardworking staff from High-Speed Rail. My name is Jofil Borja. I represent GM/CEO of Sacramento Regional Transit, Henry Li, to extend our support here of the Business Plan and in solidarity in partnership with our partners in the Central Valley as well as Amtrak and San Joaquin.
I was once that college student in UC Berkeley back in 2008, championing Prop 1A in getting young adults to be active in not only civic leadership but really seeing the fruits of the labor of what this could potentially be. And ten-plus years later I still think that that dream is alive.
You know, Sacramento Regional Transit is named as one of those few cities in all of America who is steadily changing the trend of ridership decline and flipping that over. We're able to steadily increase ridership by showing our local and regional communities that 1) public transportation works 2) it's a reliable and safe option for them to get out of single occupancy vehicles and 3) that we can get you there safely.
And I hope that the Board and the hardworking staff here and the members and the stakeholders and the public do realize that in order for us to make a lasting change and in not only the working communities of the Central Valley and also here in Sacramento, that we need to invest in good, reliable public transportation and this Business Plan is what we think to be a good first step in realizing and making that dream come true.
I also want to reiterate that we are supportive of multi-regional alignment and rail infrastructure that would benefit eventually the Sacramento region. And our communities rely on transit services to get them in places of work, their home and leisure. But we also encourage you have that operating segment for the public to work with the local and regional transit providers because we want this to be a seamless transaction. We don't want our folks to just see that there's multiple different instances where they have to transfer but they want this to be a one-single ticket from hopefully Sacramento to the Bay or to Southern California.
So we urge you guys to continue to support this. And I appreciate your time. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Steve||Cohn||All right, Steve Cohn representing the Sacramento Regional Rail Working Group and also Sacramento or rather California BREATHE, which is a nonprofit that advocates for healthy lungs and clean air throughout our region.
I won't read this since it's not from me. I don't know who left that. Anyway I know the focus on today's hearing and in fact the Business Plan is really on Phase 1 of High-Speed Rail, which of course did not include Sacramento, but I'm here to talk about Sacramento. You've heard a few of the other speakers from our region. We are in support of the Business Plan and in particular the Merced to Bakersfield segment. And let me explain why that matters to Sacramento and I think the rest of California as well.
Years ago we were, our rail connections just through Capitol Corridor which I cofounded back many years ago, that's been our link by rail basically. But about ten years ago we joined with the Central Valley Working Group, folks like Henry Perea. I know we served as vice chairs of San Joaquin JPA starting not that long ago. And really, the idea that JPA germinated in part from our efforts working together to improve service throughout the Central Valley. What we determined early on was working, and we saw a big change by the way in the High-Speed Rail, both the Board and the staff over the last five to ten years, but especially in the last couple under Mr. Kelly's leadership and your Board.
That Merced connection is critical to take advantage of all of the other things that are going on to connect areas outside the initial Phase 1, so it's really critical. I've taken high-speed rail throughout the world. There's lots of different ways to do it, but the one thing I can tell you is the Merced to Bakersfield segment is key to getting it done in California. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Dylan||Stone||Good afternoon, I'm Dylan Stone, the Regional Planning Supervisor with Madera County Transportation Commission. We're the MPO for the Madera County region.
I just want to express our support for what we've seen in the draft Business Plan as well as the documents that are prepared and presented this morning as well. We've had a chance to review them in the past few days and we are very much in support of the vision that's outlaid in that plan. And we we'd implore this Board to support that as well.
We've been hearing a lot of benefits; stuff I'd even learned this afternoon hearing some of these comments. But I really look at this from the planning perspective. I work on our RTP. I work on modeling. I'm very in tune with the way greenhouse gas emissions are coming out of our vehicles and the relationship between people and place and how we transport between the places we need to go.
And I see this plan in the big picture of our long-range plan, our long-range vision in the RTP as a great opportunity and one we have a chance to really see, come together in a very complete and comprehensive way as we look to branch out to our Valley to Valley connection and to Southern California. So we just want to express our strong support bring this plan. We're very encouraged by its contents. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Greg||Taylor||Chair, Board, Consuela Hernandez was due to speak, our Governmental Affairs Director, for the City of Sacramento. She had to leave so I'm going to take her place if it pleases the Board. My name is Greg Taylor. I'm a Supervising Architect and Project Manager on the Sacramento Valley Station in Sacramento. I'd like to read some excerpts from a letter we submitted to the Chair on October 31st.
"On behalf of the City of Sacramento I'm here to express our continued support of High-Speed Rail and the Governor's plan and CHSRA's policy recommendations to pursue a Merced-Fresno-Bakersfield interim operating segment that provides Sacramento a connection to high-speed rail service at Merced in the Phase 1 project. This support is consistent with our current general plan policies. Sacramento continues to support the eventual Phase 2 extension into the city. However, this segment to Merced will allow a direct connection to the high-speed system leveraging the states funding of expanding San Joaquin and anticipated Altamont corridor express service originating in Sacramento with the $500.5 million funding from the transit and intercity rail capital program.
"The Sacramento rail passengers will greatly benefit from reducing train travel to and from the Central Valley and Southern California. Direct connections in Merced to ACE and the San Joaquins' will also translate into faster connections and positive ridership effects to the Capitol Corridor system and Sacramento regional transit. The success of this early interim service is essential to implementing the ultimate high-speed rail system between Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California."
And as Project Manager of the Sacramento Valley Station I'd just like to add that we're currently in a master plan process that is looking forward, 2040 and beyond, following this state rail plan with every intention of those higher capacity connections to high-speed rail through the Merced opportunities to the Southern California via Merced and the connecting bus and regional service in Northern California. And we support this plan wholeheartedly. Thank you.
|2/18/2020||February Board of Directors Meeting||Andrew||Chesley||Everything that can be said has been said, it's just that not everybody has said it yet. (Laughter.) Andrew Chesley, I'm the Executive Director of the San Joaquin Council of Governments in Stockton. Thank you Chair, Members of the Authority, for your time and energy in terms of delivering this important transportation project to California.
Like the speakers before me I come to support the draft operation, that Draft Business Plan you have in front of you. It's an articulate statement of the opportunities of coordinating passenger rail service in Northern California and the Central Valley. And also like the speakers before me I want to support the interim operational alignment from Merced to Bakersfield. It's best for California High-Speed Rail, for the passenger rail services available in Northern and central California and most importantly for the traveling public for the state of California.
So we submitted a letter in support of this. And I thank you very much for your time and attention.
|2/10/2020||David||Schonbrunn||View Letter from Train Riders Association of California|
|2/27/2020||Cindy||Parra||View Letter from Golden Empire Transit District|
|3/23/2020||Jacqueline||Ayer||View Letter from Save Our Rural Town|
Attached are comments on the Draft 2020 High-Speed Rail Business Plan from Peninsula Freight Rail Users Group (PFRUG).
Greg Greenway View attached comments
|4/13/2020||Michael||Tree||Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the draft California High Speed
Rail Business Plan.
Tri-Valley - San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority
View attached comments View other attachment.
|4/13/2020||Bob||Delp||On behalf of WYE Madera County, I am submitting the attached comment letter regarding the California High-Speed Rail Draft 2020 Business Plan for the Authority's consideration.
This email and any files or attachments transmitted with it may contain privileged or otherwise confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient, or believe that you may have received this communication in error, please advise the sender via reply email and immediately delete the email you received.
|4/13/2020||Traci||Anderson||Dear California High-Speed Rail Authority:
Please find the attached letter of support from Innovation TRIVALLEY
Leadership Group with supporting documentation regarding Valley Link.
Director of Community
Innovation TRIVALLEY Leadership Group
CLICK HERE to sign up for our Newsletter.
View letter from Innovation TRIVALLEY Leadership Group View other attachment.
|4/14/2020||Letter||Louis||Thompson||View the letter from the Peer Review Group|
|4/15/2020||Letter||William||Warren||View letter from Mr. William Warren|
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