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Senate Cuts CA's High Speed Rail Funding, Rally at Union Station Set for Today

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This morning, officials from various groups, including two L.A. City Councilmembers, will urge Senator Dianne Feinstein to continue her support and leadership of California's high speed rail proposal and $4 billion in funding designated in the 2010 transportation spending bill.

While the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that included $4 billion in funding for the high speed rail network, which would speed passengers between L.A. and San Francisco in under three hours, the Senate earlier this fall cut the line item by 75 percent, to $1.2 billion. The bill, currently in a Seante conference committee, will be finalized later this month and be up for final passage soon.

Advocates say that a high speed rail network--in full, it's planned to be between San Diego and Sacramento--would eliminate 92 million vehicle trips a year and will be half the cost of freeway and airport expansions that will otherwise be needed.

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L.A. City Council Transportation Committee chair Bill Rosendahl and councilmember and candidate for Lt. Governor Janice Hahn will be at the rally, scheduled for 8:45 a.m. this morning at Union Station.

In October, California submitted a federal grant application, seeking $4.8 billion in stimulus money. The results of the application could be announced as early as January.