About California High-Speed Rail
The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is responsible for planning, designing, building, and operating the first high-speed rail system in the nation. California high-speed rail will connect the megaregions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs, and preserve agricultural and protected lands.
When completed, Phase 1 of the high-speed rail system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of exceeding 200 miles per hour. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. In addition, the Authority is working with regional partners to implement a statewide rail modernization plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the state’s 21st century transportation needs.
The Authority is working toward three fundamental objectives:
- Initiate high-speed rail passenger service as soon as possible.
- Make strategic, concurrent transportation investments that will link over time and provide mobility, economic and environmental benefits at the earliest possible time
- Position ourselves to construct additional segments as funding becomes available.
- The Authority has 119 miles of active construction in the Central Valley with dozens of active construction sites.
- 422 miles of the 500-mile Phase 1 system from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim have been environmentally cleared.
- The Authority has acquired almost all the right-of-way parcels needed for construction in the Central Valley.
- The design work for construction in the Central Valley is nearing fully complete.
- The project has created over 12,000 good-paying labor jobs.
- The project generated $16 billion in economic output from July 2006 to June 2022.
- There are currently over 800 small businesses working on the project.
- To date, $5.5 billion of program expenditures have been spent in and benefitted disadvantaged communities.
- Our zero emission trains will be powered by 100% renewable energy.
- On average, California’s electrified high-speed rail will keep more than 3,500 tons of harmful pollutants out of the air – every year.
- We have planted more than 7,100 trees to offset emissions produced through construction.
- We have avoided over 420,000 pounds of criteria air pollutants during construction.
- We have preserved or restored more than 2,900 acres of habitat.
Important Project Milestones
- 2023 – Authority receives $20 million in RAISE grant funding from the federal government for the Fresno High-Speed Rail Station Historic Depot Renovation and Plaza Activation Project.
- 2023 – Authority marks 10,000 jobs created on the high-speed rail project since the beginning of construction.
- 2022 – The Authority released its Draft 2022 Business Plan, opening up a 60-day period of public comment.
- 2022 – The Board approved the environmental documents for the Burbank to Los Angeles project section. The Board’s approval is a critical milestone that moves the project section closer to being “shovel ready” as funding becomes available.
- 2021 – The Board approved the environmental documents for the Bakersfield to Palmdale project section. This action marked the first certification of an environmental document in the Southern California region.
- 2021 – The Board approved the Revised 2020 Business Plan. This action reaffirmed the Authority’s commitment to deliver a 171-mile Merced-Fresno-Bakersfield interim electrified service line in California’s Central Valley.
- 2020 – The Board approved the Central Valley Wye environmental document. These actions, along with the clearance of the final section of the Fresno to Bakersfield project section in 2018, provided for full environmental clearance for 171 miles of future high-speed rail alignment between Merced and Bakersfield.
- 2019 – Project Update Report laid out the path forward for the Merced-Fresno-Bakersfield line, a building block project that matches the available funding.
- 2018 – Chief Executive Officer Brian P. Kelly and his staff composed the latest business plan expressing the progress that has been made while candidly confronting challenges going forward.
- 2017 – Governor Brown and the Legislature secured the establishment of an important step in long-term funding stability for the project by approving AB 398 extending the Cap-and-Trade Program through 2030.
- 2015 – A ground breaking ceremony was held in Fresno to signify the beginning on HSR construction.
- 2012 – Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. highlighted the benefits of this system in his State of the State address and declared that high-speed rail was a priority for his Administration.
- 2009 – $8 billion in federal funds was made available nationwide as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
- 2008 – The bond measure (Proposition 1A) was approved by the state’s voters, making it the nation’s first ever voter-approved financing mechanism for high-speed rail.
- 2002 – Senate Bill (SB) 1856 (Costa) was passed that authorized a $9.95 billion bond measure to finance the HSR system.
- 1996 – The Intercity High-Speed Rail Commission determined HSR in California was, in fact, feasible. The California High-Speed Rail Authority was then created by the Legislature to oversee implementation.
- 1994 – As part of the High-Speed Rail Development Act of 1994, California was identified as one of the five corridors nationally for high-speed rail planning. The California Legislature also created the Intercity High-Speed Rail Commission and charged it with determining the feasibility of a system in California.
- 1981 – California pursued the idea of a Southern California high-speed rail (HSR) corridor working with Japanese partners.
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