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23 Members of Congress Put Support Behind High Speed Rail Project

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Last week, after a few rallies throughout the state, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger handed in a grant to the feds, asking for $4.8 billion in stimulus money for California's high speed rail project, which would take passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in a few hours. Today, that grant drew support from both of California's U.S. Senators and 21 other congressional leaders, including many from Los Angeeles.

“When it comes to constructing high-speed rail, California is far ahead of any other state or region," explained a letter (.pdf) to the Department of Transportation. "Californians last year voted for more than $9 billion in bond funding toward California’s high-speed rail and became the only state in the nation to have passed a high-speed rail measure. The state is ready to move on segments that can be operational, produce revenue and lay the groundwork for completion of the entire system. California is, therefore, uniquely positioned to receive and quickly utilize stimulus funds. This application for federal funds has the support of the voters, the federal and state legislators, local governments, and the business, labor and environmental communities. We, therefore, urge you to fully fund California’s high-speed rail applications,”

Results of the grant application could be announced as early as January. State officials hope to see portions of the high speed rail system in operation as early as 2018. Those could include usable routes from San Francisco to San Jose, Merced to Bakersfield and Los Angeles to Anaheim.