Pelosi Statement on President’s Announcement of High-Speed Rail Recovery Act Funds for California

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement in response to the President’s announcement of $2.35 billion in intercity and high-speed rail funding to California under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:

“Today, with President Obama’s announcement, our nation takes another step toward our goal of a national network of high-speed rail to rival any in the world.  This crucial federal investment will spur new job creation, increase public transportation options, reduce road congestion, lower our dependence on foreign oil, and protect our planet.

“California, always a leader in innovation, has been at the forefront in the development of a statewide high-speed rail network.  Our state’s dedication to 21st century transportation solutions is reflected in the President’s decision to award California the most funds of any state.  With the state’s pledge to match the federal investment, we are set to generate as many as 90,000 good-paying jobs for Californians.

“As we celebrate this significant step forward, we know that much work remains before high-speed rail becomes a reality.  Success in California is predicated on the ability to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco.  I am encouraged by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s principle of regional balance in funding decisions and his commitment to San Francisco’s Transbay Transit Center, a multi-modal regional facility that serves as a national model of transit-oriented development.  I will continue fighting to ensure that Transbay receives the necessary funds to move forward in a timely matter, so that California will ultimately be the home of the ‘Grand Central of the West.’”

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The funding is provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which included $8 billion for high-speed and intercity rail.  Transbay Transit Center is a new, modern, green, multi-modal, regional facility replacing the current Transbay Terminal, that will connect eight counties, nine transit systems, and communities throughout the state with long-distance bus and rail service, including high-speed rail. In addition, with the associated development of housing and businesses, Transbay is on its way to becoming the heart of a revitalized neighborhood that will anchor a livable community of transit-oriented development including 2,600 new homes, over a third of which will be affordable housing. The first phase of construction is expected to generate 48,000 jobs over the full life of the project.