In 2008 California voters approved nearly $10 billion in bonds to begin construction of a high speed rail linking the northern and southern portions of the state. The project envisioned a bullet train able to whisk passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than three hours, while slashing pollution from air travel, relieving congested freeways and containing sprawl. Since then, the project’s been beset by litigation, delays and massive cost overruns. But the story’s far from over: right now, construction of a high speed line between Merced and Bakersfield is underway. We’ll talk about the status of the project and the future of high speed rail in the state.
Lenny Mendonca, Chief Economic and Business Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom and Chair of the California High Speed Rail Authority