FRA has issued its Record of Decision (ROD) for the Merced-Fresno High Speed Train (HST) Project. FRA considered the information and analysis contained in the 2011 Draft EIS and 2012 Final EIS. The ruling sets up the project for construction to begin.
"Congratulations to California and everyone who's been working for years to bring this great project to fruition!" said Andy Kunz, USHSR president. "This is another critical step towards bringing true high speed rail in America. California is leading the nation in delivering 21st century transportation to the United States." added Kunz.
"Today is a significant move forward for California's high-speed rail system," said Dan Richard, chair of the Authority's Board of Directors. "Governor Brown's leadership brought major improvements to the plans, management and delivery of high-speed rail and has in large part made this day possible. The Authority is committed to a close partnership with the public in the building of high-speed rail. Currently we are gathering public comment on our environmental documents for the Fresno to Bakersfield section and we look forward to again delivering an alignment that is the best for the communities along the route as well as for all Californians."
"No economy can grow faster than its transportation network can carry it," Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo said. "The Record of Decision clears the way for California to begin construction on the first segment of its high-speed rail project. Over the next several years, this project will put thousands of Californians to work and provide the state with the transportation capacity and connectivity needed for long-term economic expansion."
Jeff Morales, CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority added "This is now a statewide rail modernization plan which will not only deliver high-speed rail but also will invest billions of dollars of improvements to local and regional rail systems around the state immediately. These improvements will provide countless benefits to commuters and travelers in the near-term, while paving the way for high-speed rail in the future."