Federal Budget Could Send Bay Rail Off Track

Federal budget vote zeroes-in on high-speed rail and BART to San Jose projects.

By Kellie Onaga
|  Tuesday, Apr 12, 2011  |  Updated 7:42 AM PDT
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Federal Budget Could Send Bay Rail Off Track

Courtesy: California High-Speed Rail Authority

The federal budget vote tomorrow could send California's high-speed rail line and the BART extension to San Jose on a fast track to nowhere.

The Valley Transportation Authority's plan to extend BART from Fremont into the Berryessa area of northern San Jose still needs $900 million from the federal government, according to the San Jose Mercury News.  The budget plan could eliminate the "New Starts" rail funding program the VTA was relying on to pay for the rest of the project.

And the federal high-speed rail budget was slashed Friday from $2.5 billion to $1 billion in the next fiscal year's budget.  Officials have speculated that may even drop to zero as negotiations move ahead this week.

If that happens, the government may have to look for private funding to pay for much of the rail line.

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