There's a new plan which could give a much needed "jolt" to California's high-speed rail project.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, state and local governments would split the $1.5 billion cost of electrifying Caltrain's existing rail lines in the Bay Area. Sacramento would kick in $706 million in rail bonds. San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties would pitch $180 million in sales tax and $500 million in federal grants.
52 miles of existing Caltrain rail lines would be used for high speed trains. Stations in San Francisco, Millbrae and San Jose would also be re-built to accommodate the trains. Lawmakers say high speed rail could soon zip across the Bay Area as early as 2018. By using only existing tracks, the planners say it addresses criticism of uprooting some Peninsula families from their homes and forcing local businesses to move out of the way.
In its' final form, the high speed rail system would stretch from the Los Angeles metropolitan region to the Central Valley and finally stopping by the Bay Area. There have been several changes to what the final project will ultimately look like due to the growing number of state legislators who are hesitant to spend the projected $100 billion needed for the system.
Construction is scheduled to begin sometime this fall and possibly next year in the Central Valley. Full service is expected by 2034.