TRAC Ideas Exposed in the Bee

The Train Riders Association of California, TRAC, got the opportunity to put its ideas out in the State Capital’s leading newspaper, the Sacramento Bee. Hopefully, it will strike a chord with political leaders. Here’s the link to the Viewpoint article.

TRAC Opposes Palmdale Focus

The TRAC Board of Directors adopted a Resolution opposing the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s new-found interest in the Palmdale to Burbank route. Instead, the Resolution proposes that the funding available for HSR be used to create benefits for passengers in the near-term. Read More...

TRAC Issues Plan B

The Train Riders Association of California has issued its Plan B, what to do when the HSRA’s project craters. The Plan strategically attempts to use the $2.4 billion in federal ARRA funds before they expire in 2017. This Plan B differs from TRANSDEF’s Plan B, which proposed a wholesale revision of Proposition 1A and a repurposing of the entire $6 billion dollars appropriated for the Central Valley project. That plan has much greater uncertainties, because it would require a return to the voters. The time involved in doing that, given the very short timelines for construction, favors taking a more strategic approach. Hence, TRAC’s Plan B:


TRAC Proposes Plan B for HSR

In the wake of the collapse of the Central Valley project, the Train Riders Association of California has issued its Plan B for High-Speed Rail:

1. The Train Riders Association of California (TRAC) strongly supports a modern High-Speed Rail (HSR) system for California. HSR will be critical in providing interregional mobility to a growing population at a lower environmental impact than widening highways and adding runways. Successful HSR should greatly benefit the economy.

2. Even if the currently proposed $6 billion Merced-Bakersfield project were successfully completed, no funding is available to build the rest of the HSR system. This would leave this very expensive track unused and unusable, except perhaps by Amtrak to save a few minutes on the San Joaquins.

3. Funding is a problem because the California High Speed Rail Authority's plans are not attractive to private investors. The Authority hopes that $26 billion of federal grants will lead to private investment, but the Sacramento Superior Court ruling found that “there is, in reality, no reasonably anticipated time of receipt for any of the potential new federal funds."

4. TRAC is grateful for the Sacramento Superior Court's ruling that the Authority's project does not meet the taxpayer protection requirements of the 2008 voter-approved HSR bond measure, Proposition 1A. Preventing the current project from spending bond funds illegally will preserve the potential for successful HSR in California.


TRANSDEF Presents at Annual TRAC Meeting

The 2012 Annual Conference of the Trainriders Association of California was held in Berkeley today. TRANSDEF was invited to co-present the keynote address, along with the Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design (CARRD) on the topic of Where is High-Speed Rail Going in the Near Term? Elizabeth Alexis of CARRD began with a presentation which laid out the complete picture of what is funded to proceed in the next few years. David Schonbrunn of TRANSDEF then delivered an explanation of why rail advocates are suing CHSRA, entitled Fighting for What Could Be. Read More...