President Trump has kept another promise by refusing to give California the final payment of $928.6 million set aside for the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) under a 2010 agreement.
He also wants to get back the 2.5 billion dollars they have already received for building the rail from LA to San Francisco that new Governor Gavin Newsom has canceled. The money was given to California to build that rail and even though they broke the agreement, Newsom wants to keep the money even though they are not building the rail the money was earmarked for.
It could get very interesting.
“FRA finds that CHSRA has repeatedly failed to comply with the terms of the FY10 Agreement and has failed to make reasonable progress on the Project,” FRA said in an emailed statement.
“Additionally, California has abandoned its original vision of a high-speed passenger rail service connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles, which was essential to its applications for FRA grant funding,” the agency said.
The decision to withdraw federal rail funding is likely to heighten tensions between the Trump administration and California.
Dubbed the “train to nowhere,” Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in February he shelved plans to complete the entire high-speed rail line that voters approved in 2008. The project was meant to connect major urban areas from San Diego to San Francisco by high-speed rail
Instead, California intends to finish an 119-mile corridor in the Central Valley — at a cost of roughly $89 million per mile.
California’s once-celebrated dream of high-speed rail became bogged down by cost overruns, delays and mismanagement. State officials reported in 2018 that finishing the entire rail line could cost $77 billion.
Despite the high cost, Newsom, a Democrat, said he wanted to complete a section of the rail line to help the Central Valley’s economy and avoid having to send $3.5 billion in federal funds back to the Trump administration.