August 2022 I Will Ride Update

I will Ride Logo

Greetings I Will Riders!

This has been a summer of progress and exciting news at the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Our Board of Directors approved the final environmental documents for the San Francisco to San José project section, environmentally clearing 420 of 500 miles of Phase 1 of the California high-speed rail project, connecting the path from San Francisco all the way down to Palmdale. In addition, we received a federal grant to advance design work for our first operating segment in the Central Valley.

Merced to Bakersfield Segment Moving Forward with Federal Grant and Advanced Design

Rendering of a future high-speed rail station in the Central Valley. Earlier this month, the Authority was awarded $25 million in federal grant funding to advance the project beyond the 119-miles under construction and into downtown Merced. This funding came from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program. The Authority Board of Directors also awarded two contracts for the advanced design of Merced to Madera and Fresno to Bakersfield.
CEO Brian Kelly called the grant “vital for the Authority to advance its initial electrified service between Downtown Merced and Bakersfield. It reflects the strong state-federal partnership now in place to see the nation’s first true high-speed rail service commence right here in California.”

Merced will serve as central transportation hub bringing together commuter and passenger rail through the Amtrack San Joaquin’s, Altamont Corridor Express and high-speed rail. The design contracts approved by the Board of Directors are expected to take around 2 years and provide critical pre-construction design work to better refine costs and travel time enhancements, and map right of way and utility relocation.


RAISE GRANT Central Valley Design Contracts

Board of Directors Approves Final Environmental Documents for San Francisco to San José

Map of the San Francisco to San José project section alignmentAt a busy Board of Directors meeting earlier this month, Board members spent two days discussing the San Francisco to San José project section. During that time, Authority staff highlighted some of the key points of the Environmental Impact Statements/Environmental Impact Report. The meeting started with supportive videos from San Francisco Mayor London Breed and California State Senator Scott Weiner. The approval of this project section means 420 of 500 miles of Phase 1 (San Francisco to the LA Basin) of the project is environmentally cleared, making it significantly closer to construction ready as more funding becomes available.

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Student Opportunities 

Internships and Fellowships


California High-Speed Rail Authority (Sacramento)  – Student Assistant 

Young woman smiling at the camera. Text that details that the California High-Speed Rail Authority is hiring. Under close supervision of the Information Officer II, Public Records Administrator, in a learning capacity, the Student Assistant will assist with the High-Speed Rail Authority’s comprehensive media, public records and communications programs. In addition to assisting with research and technical work related to departmental responses to records requests received pursuant to the California Public Records Act (PRA), the Student Assistant will also assist with the development of informational materials for dissemination to the media, stakeholders and public regarding the activities and objectives of the California high-speed rail program.

Learn More and Apply



Latinos in Transit Scholarship 

Young woman smiling and wearing graduation cap and gown. Details on the flyer provide details about the Latinos in Transit Scholarship. Latinos in Transit is proud to announce the launch of a new scholarship program to support Latinos and other minorities in pursuit of higher education and a career in public transportation. The purpose of this scholarship is to create opportunities for underserved and/or underrepresented individuals pursuing degrees and/or certifications from accredited educational institutions in a public transit-related field of study such as, but not limited to, business administration or management, marketing, finance, project management, urban or transportation planning, engineering, etc.

Please share this information with anyone who may qualify. Applications are due August 29, 2022. Click below for more.

Latinos in Transit Scholarship


WTS Inland Empire Scholarship

Informational flyer with a young woman in school uniform holding a book. Flyer details that the application is open from August 15 to October 22 of 2022, they have high-school, undergraduate and graduate student scholarships, and detail Kimberly Barling as the primary contact. As per their website, “To encourage women pursuing careers in transportation, Women’s Transportation Seminar – Orange County (WTS-OC) will be offering high school, community college, undergraduate and graduate scholarships to women throughout Southern California. In 2021, WTS-OC awarded a total of $75,000 in scholarships.

The number of scholarships and the amounts for this year will be determined following a review of the applications received. Applications will include the complete list of qualifications. Please promote and share our applications with those within our community and your networks!

Applications are due no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, and may be submitted online or sent as a single PDF document to”

WTS Inland Empire Scholarship

Southern California Transportation Voices Gather for the Mobility 21 Conference

Group of 8 people standing in front of a very large sign that reads Mobility 21. Mobility 21, one of Southern California’s foremost organizations for advancement of public transportation, hosted their annual conference in Anaheim, CA. The conference gathered leading voices in public transportation to provide a range of panels and presentations on federal government funding, regional projects moving the region, equity in public transportation and hiring in agencies and industry, and provided ample time for networking and exploring the exhibit fair. The Authority proudly hosted a booth at the exhibit hall and welcomed our Deputy Regional Director of the Central Valley Toni Tinoco and Peer Review Group Member Dr. Beverly Scott for a panel on workplace equity, culture shock and mental health.






California High-Speed Rail Outreach booth with pop-up banners, hardhat and construction vest and handout materials.

Two women speaking in front of an outreach booth.Panel discussion with many people on stage sitting behind mics.

Free Global Conference on High-Speed Rail September 13 and 14

Graphic is the ad for the conference noted in this story. The graphic illustrates a high-speed train traveling very quickly. The text on the graphic describes the title of the conference, hosts and the dates of the program. Academics and experts around the world will gather September 13 and 14 for the 2nd International Workshop on High-Speed Rail Socioeconomic Impacts. This conference is hosted by the International Union of Railways (UIC) Alliance of Universities. Authority Board member Anthony Williams will represent the Authority at the opening session with a California High-Speed Rail project overview. As noted in their website:

Following the success of the 1st International Workshop (, UIC has decided to support this initiative as an annual event to be organised by the University of Naples Federico II. The aim of this workshop is to explore recent research on the analysis and quantification of the effects, both on economy and on society, of investments in HSR systems. Papers focusing on the impacts on equity and inclusion; on the land use system, such as activity and residential location choice; on the environment; on the tourism industry; on the property market as well as on pricing policies; on project evaluation; on competition, cooperation and integration with other transport modes, etc. are welcome. Papers will be accepted for presentation and discussion at the workshop, presenting either a theoretical or an empirical perspective approach.

This conference is virtual and attendance is free. To learn more and register online, visit their website linked below.

Learn More and Register for the Conference

CivicSpark Fellow Completes Service Year at High-Speed Rail Authority

Congratulations to the Authority’s CivicSpark Fellow Kelsey Shockley for completing her service year working on planning and equity related issues at the California High-Speed Rail Authority! The UC Riverside graduate and soon to be graduate student was matched with the Authority for her AmeriCorps service year and produced an equitable outcomes gap assessment and provided community input for the use of the sites surrounding the future high-speed rail station in Fresno, CA. Kelsey presented her findings to Authority staff and her peers at the CivicSpark organization. CivicSpark is an 11-month AmeriCorps fellowship program that connects fellows with partner agencies to focus on a topic related to addressing equity and climate change among local governments.

Photo of a women tabling at a fair speaking to a member of the public while pointing at a paper.three women smiling and tabling at a public fair. Title of the article included in the graphic.

Stay Connected 
 Informational flyer for student I Will Ride program. Webinars, Project Updates, Student Opportunities and Construction Tours. Photos of professionals panel, train rendering, students tabling and construction tour. Are you a student that wants to learn more about the California high-speed rail project, tour construction or join the project as a fellow or intern? Don’t miss any important updates, opportunities or notifications when you sign up for I Will Ride! Sign-Up for I Will Ride

The California High-Speed Rail Authority makes every effort to ensure the website and its contents meet mandated ADA requirements as per the California State mandated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA standard. If you are looking for a particular document not located on the California High-Speed Rail Authority website, you may make a request for the document under the Public Records Act through the Public Records Act page. If you have any questions about the website or its contents, please contact the Authority at