Tos II Case Progresses

Tos II Case Progresses 05/25/17 Filed in: High-Speed Rail A hearing was held on April 26 on CHSRA’s Demurrer. The Court’s tentative ruling denied the motion for preliminary injunction and sustained the demurrer. At the hearing, the Court adopted the ruling on the motion for preliminary injunction, and took the demurrer under submission. The final ruling adopted the tentative ruling sustaining the demurrer, effectively knocking the case out of court, but granted leave to amend the Petition. Plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Petition on May 25, in response. After the announcement of the Federal Transit Administration grant to Caltrain for…

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Allies Challenge AB 1899’s Constitutionality

Allies Challenge AB 1899’s Constitutionality 01/31/17 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Five individuals, three non-profit organizations, the Town of Atherton and Kings County amended their lawsuit today, seeking a ruling that the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (CHSRA) efforts to obtain construction funding from a voter-approved bond measure violate the state constitution. The case is the second one filed as Tos v. California High-Speed Rail Authority, or Tos II. Legal papers are available here. The Third District Court of Appeal had previously ruled that Prop. 1A, the 2008 $9.9 billion high-speed rail bond measure, created a “financial straitjacket” restricting the use of…

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Multiple Groups File Opposition to AB 1899

Multiple Groups File Opposition to AB 1899 06/27/16 Filed in: High-Speed Rail 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…

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TRAC Issues Plan B

TRAC Issues Plan B 02/24/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail 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…

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CA Legislature: Know-Nothings Approve HSR Funding

CA Legislature: Know-Nothings Approve HSR Funding 07/06/12 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Friday’s no-margin majority vote in the CA Senate to fund the $6 billion 130-mile HSR project in the Central Valley was marked by a stunning disconnect between the majority that passed the budget measure and the members most informed about the project. The majority plugged their ears to the detailed explanations of the measure’s flaws given by three courageous Democratic Senators and the Republicans. Facts didn’t matter. Senator Simitian of Palo Alto gave the speech of his life. Although a long-time supporter of the concept of High-Speed Rail for…

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Senate Holds Fiery HSR Hearing

Senate Holds Fiery HSR Hearing 04/18/12 Filed in: High-Speed Rail On April 18, Budget Subcommittee #3 conducted a hearing on High-Speed Rail. Chairman Joe Simitian asked many pointed questions as to the viability of the proposed 130 mile Central Valley project. Compelling testimony from the Legislative Analysts’ Office cast strong doubts on assertions in the HSRA Business Plan that the Authority would be able to access cap and trade revenues as a backstop for 20+ billion in missing funding for its Initial Operating Section (IOS). Without a fully-funded IOS, opponents of the Central Valley project assert that the Authority cannot…

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TRANSDEF’s Testimony at Senate HSR Hearing

TRANSDEF’s Testimony at Senate HSR Hearing 03/13/12 Filed in: High-Speed Rail I’m David Schonbrunn of TRANSDEF. We’re transit advocates that have been litigating HSR EIRs for the past 5 years, and have been highly critical of the Authority’s route decisions, their engineering and their ridership modeling. We see the Authority slowly changing direction and heading in a more viable direction. We give great credit to the Peer Review Group for their courageous comments, which were instrumental in bringing that about. But we are more outspoken: we vigorously oppose the Central Valley project and urge you to not fund it. Many…

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