Nov 2015

Taxpayer Challenge to High-Speed Rail Files Devastating Brief

The legal team challenging the California High-Speed Rail Authority's compliance with the 2008 Proposition 1A High-Speed Rail Bond Measure filed a
supplemental brief today. It explains the legal significance of a secret document recently uncovered by the Los Angeles Times. The Authority had resisted releasing it. Pressure from the State Assembly Republican Caucus and several Republican congressmen eventually forced the Authority to make it public. After the Authority capitulated, the court allowed the plaintiffs to file a supplemental brief.

Plaintiff Aaron Fukuda said "We hope this brief puts a stake in the heart of this boondoggle. The Authority's goal line defense to keep this document secret tells you just how damaging they knew it was."

Attorney Stuart Flashman said, "It’s understandable why the Authority wanted this evidence kept hidden. It directly contradicts the cost estimates in the Final 2014 Business Plan. The Business Plan’s deceptively lowered costs successfully pulled the wool over legislators’ eyes. Two months later, they gave the Authority billions of dollars in a multi-year gift of climate change mitigation funds. It’s hard to believe that would have happened had they known what a bottomless money pit the project had become."

A verdict for the plaintiffs would not only prevent HSR bond funds from being used for construction, it would shut off federal grants and state climate change funds as well.

Capitol Corridor Roseville Extension--A Waste of Money?

TRANSDEF, the Train Riders Association of California and the California Rail Foundation filed a comment letter on the DEIR for the Capitol Corridor’s proposed extension to Roseville. We found the DEIR provided no justification for spending $250 million dollars to build a third track to Roseville. “We find it striking that the beneficial impacts in terms of VMT reduction and GHG emissions reductions of the $226 million Build Alternative are so small as to be unnoticeable at the regional scale.” The project would not accomplish the objectives identified in the DEIR. The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Board certified the FEIR on November 18, 2015 Read More...

CHSRA Releases Blockbuster Document

News broke late Tuesday that the HSR document reported on by the Los Angeles Times has been released by CHSRA.

Editorials in the
Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune called it out as a red flag for the HSR project. See the Taxpayer Lawsuit for further details on how this affects the challenge to CHSRA.