California to compete in Senate for funds for high-speed rail project


WASHINGTON, Aug 3 - California plans to compete in the Senate for billions in financing for rail projects in a new bipartisan infrastructure bill of $1 trillion that has been introduced in the U.S. Senate.

This is a one-time investment in rail. We see somewhere between $20 - 30 billion in funding we can compete in to get funds for the California high-speed rail project, and that's what we intend to do, said Melissa Figueroa, a spokeswoman for California's High Speed Rail Authority.

In June, President Joe Biden restored a $929 million grant to California's high-speed rail line. In 2019 the president of the United States of America had announced the funding for the project hacked by excessive delays and rising costs, calling it a disaster.

Biden, a Democrat, strongly supports high-speed rail and has vowed to ensure the United States has the safest and fastest rail system in the world.

California bills its system as the first high-speed rail project and aims to finish it in 2030 s. The cost was estimated at $80 billion in 2020 but could eventually be as high as $99.8 billion.

The initial $10 billion bond for the project was approved by California voters in 2008, and $3.5 billion in federal money was allocated two years later. California received $2.5 billion at the beginning of the year 1993.

The project is in construction on the first 119-mile section of Central Valley in California with 35 active job sites. The authority said it expects to have trains in the ground testing service by mid-decade and in passenger service by 2029.