High-speed rail advocates discuss funding

October 2, 2009 11:32:57 AM PDT
Advocates of high-speed rail are gathering this morning in San Jose to release details of California's formal application for $4.7 billion in federal recovery act dollars for the planned 800-mile statewide bullet train project.

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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger formally submitted the application this morning, saying the money, when matched by state and local dollars, would create 130,000 jobs throughout California, including 34,200 in the Bay Area. The state is one of several projects across the country vying for $8 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds set aside to develop high-speed rail projects across the country.

At 10:30 a.m., Congressional representatives, state legislators, local elected officials and other supporters of the high-speed rail project will be at San Jose's Diridon Station, 65 Cahill St., to share details from the application.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority approved the application Sept. 23. Next, the document went to Schwarzenegger, who "had the dubious honor of doing some paring down and moving around," according to Rod Diridon, a rail authority board member and key leader on the project.

The application's final version contains some definite differences from the earlier version, Diridon said. The details will be released at today's event.

While the rally's final roster is still subject to last-minute changes, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, and state Sen. Elaine Alquist, D-Santa Clara, are scheduled to speak, according to Diridon.

Similar rallies are also planned in Fresno and Los Angeles to support the statewide rail project, according to rail authority spokeswoman Kris Deutschman.

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