Published on July 25th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro7
Private Investors Boost California’s High-Speed Rail Ambitions
July 25th, 2014 by Christopher DeMorro
California’s ambitions for a statewide high-speed rail network seemed to have been derailed after a lawsuit kept some $10 billion of taxpayer bonds out of reach. But a recent budget agreement passed by Governor Jerry Brown seems to be attracting private investors that could put high-speed rail back on track.
Planetzien reports that Governor Brown has guaranteed the San Francisco-to-Los-Angeles its first steady cash flow from the state’s cap-and-trade efforts on carbon-producing industries. The money could reach more than $750 million annually, helping speed along production of a high-speed rail network whose costs have risen to some $68 billion. Investors from France’s Vinci Concessions and L.A.-based AECOM are among the first signs of interest from private entites, who have largely steered clear of the troubled project.
A number of anti-rail lawsuits from farmers, conservatives, and even environmentalists still stand in the way of completing the network, which has some investors still sitting on the sidelines. California’s high-speed rail is far from a done deal, and there have even been calls for scrapping the whole project and starting fresh.
If private investors get involved though, it could definitely help bring the ambitious plan together, and give California a head start on our nation’s first high-speed rail network.
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