Multiple Groups File Opposition to AB 1899

Multiple Groups File
Opposition to AB 1899

06/27/16 Filed in:


Today, a group of organizations have united in
a

letter

opposing AB 1889, the attempted grab of Prop. 1A bond
funds. They are: TRANSDEF, the Train Riders
Association of California, Preserve Our Heritage,
Citizens for California High Speed Rail
Accountability and the Community Coalition on
High-Speed Rail.

In an attempt to evade the requirements of
Proposition 1A, the HSR Bond Act, Caltrain has
sponsored AB 1889. The bill would give CHSRA full
discretion to declare that a rail corridor or segment
is HSR-ready. This is a big deal for Caltrain,
because its electrification project cannot qualify
for $700+ million in bond funding under the current
law. It wants the money now.

The
AP story in the Bee


made it clear that Caltrain is trying to bust the 1A
requirement that usable corridors be built to be
ready for HSR: “What we’re trying to clarify is that
this does serve the purpose of that but we don’t have
to wait for the entire corridor of high-speed rail
track to be built for the money to be ready to be
spent,” the Caltrain spokesman said.

Unfortunately for Caltrain, Prop. 1A requires that
any project seeking bond funds to improve a corridor
or usable segment of that corridor be certified as
HSR-ready at the completion of the project.
Caltrain’s electrification project explicitly
excludes the improvements that will be required to
bring HSR to the Caltrain Corridor, which include
grade separations, quad gates, station platforms,
passing tracks, and curve straightenings.

This is especially revealing, in that this is the
precise issue being litigated in
Town of Atherton
v. Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers
Board
.
Caltrain wants HSR bond money, but isn’t willing
to acknowledge that its electrification is part of
the HSR project, and isn’t willing to live under
the restrictions of the bond measure. Their
unsubtle message is “Just give us the money!”

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