Last week, the California High Speed Rail Authority met to discuss the Sacramento Superior Court rulings issued recently by Judge Kenny.
Two rulings were issued regarding the sale and allocation of state Proposition 1A bond funding to support the California High Speed Rail project. One ruling , addresses the California High Speed Rail Authority’s request to validate the sale of state Proposition 1A bonds for its project, and the other addresses whether the funding and implementation plan proposed by the Authority for its Initial Operating Segment (between Merced and Los Angeles) is compliant with Proposition 1A.
In terms of its impact on Caltrain, at this time Judge Kenny’s rulings do not affect the ability of the Caltrain Modernization Program to proceed on schedule.
Caltrain’s advanced signal system project has already received its full Prop 1A allocation and the planning, environmental and pre-construction work for Caltrain’s electrification project can be completed without additional Proposition 1A funds.
At last week’s board meeting, the Authority signaled its intent to take the administrative actions necessary to address the bond validation ruling and allow Proposition 1A bonds to be sold, so that they can be available for Caltrain modernization and other high speed rail project capital needs.
As for the ruling dealing with the Initial Operating Segment and its compliance with Proposition 1A, it is clear that there are several options available to ensure that these funds can be committed as directed by the Legislature when it approved $600 million in Prop 1A high speed rail funds for Caltrain last year.
We will continue to work closely with the Authority to review these options and proceed accordingly.