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State Review Panel Suggests Putting Brakes on Bullet Train

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In what could be the nail in the coffin for the state's planned bullet train (or simply a bump in the road) a state-appointed review panel is recommending that California not release $2.7 billion in bonds needed to start construction on the line this year. The Los Angeles Times received early descriptions of a report from the panel, which suggests that, because of future funding uncertainties, "the best action now is to take a timeout on the project and reevaluate the overall goals, routes, financing and phasing of the effort." While many newspapers, local leaders, and talking heads have come out against the proposed SF to Anaheim bullet train, this report is more serious, since state law requires this panel approve the "reasonableness of the plan" before any serious money is spent on construction. Or, as the LAT puts it, "lawmakers would have to disregard the recommendation of the very group it directed to guide it on the project if they decide to approve the bond issue." It's not clear when the legislature needs to act on releasing the bonds, but work is supposed to start this year on a 130 mile stretch of track in the Central Valley.
· California high-speed rail funding could be in jeopardy [LA Times]
· High-Speed Rail Archives [Curbed LA]