Billions for the Bullet

Uncle Sam gives California $2.25 billion for a high-speed train

By Bob Redell
|  Thursday, Jan 28, 2010  |  Updated 1:05 PM PDT
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Billions for the Bullet

California will soon be home to a high-speed train.

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High speed rail is looking more and more like full steam ahead for California.

President Barack Obama on Thursday awarded the High Speed Rail Authority a $2.25 billion stimulus grant to get going on construction. That’s just a small chunk of the estimated $42 billion needed for the 800-mile long project.

Sen. Barbara Boxer told the Los Angeles Times the money would "create tens of thousands of jobs across California, reduce air pollution and congestion on our roads, and help us build a cleaner, more efficient transportation system."

Obama announced $8 billion in funding for high speed rail projects throughout the country with California receiving the largest portion. But there is a string attached to this grant.

The Authority must begin construction by September 2012 and finish up five years after that.  The first phase of the project will run between San Francisco and Anaheim.

The money will help "lay the groundwork for a nationwide infrastructure expansion that will spur economic growth in communities across the country, provide faster and more energy-efficient means of travel, and establish a new industry in the U.S. that provides stable, well-paid jobs," a White House official told the Times.

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