California Selects Controversial High-Speed Rail Route

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(San Francisco–Casey Miner, KALW News) The California High-Speed Rail Authority voted today to select a route from Madera to Corcoran as the first segment of the planned statewide system.

From the press release:

The California High-Speed Rail Authority Board voted today to begin construction of the system connecting Los Angeles to the Bay Area in the heart of the state’s Central Valley, choosing an option that makes the best use of available funding and lays the foundation for expanding the track both north and south.

“We are building a statewide system. We’re in the business of connecting major metropolitan centers across our state, and we won’t have a true high-speed rail system until we tie every part of this state together,” said Authority Vice Chair Tom Umberg. “It’s not one town or one region versus another; it’s about connecting one region to another. ‘’

This route selection is controversial –- it's a hybrid of the two Central Valley sections previously under consideration, Merced-Fresno and Fresno-Bakersfield. You can hear me discuss some of the politics and roadblocks confronting the project over at KALW News.