The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is responsible for planning, designing, building and operating the first high-speed rail system in the nation. California’s high-speed rail system will connect the mega-regions of the state, contribute to economic development and a cleaner environment, create jobs and preserve agricultural and protected lands. The system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles Basin in under three hours and will be capable of speeds of over 200 miles per hour. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. The Authority is working with state and regional partners to implement an integrated state rail network investing billions of dollars in urban, commuter, and intercity rail systems to meet the state’s 21st-century transportation needs.
With construction underway, and the transition of the Authority from a planning to a project development organization, the economic benefit of these activities is substantially growing. Starting with just a few employees a decade ago, the project now supports thousands of jobs across all functions—from planning and environmental clearance to engineering and construction. This investment has spurred economic benefits around California and across the country. Investment in high-speed rail is supporting jobs, labor income and economic output across a number of California’s regions, including some of those hardest hit by the Great Recession.
In many areas of the state, the high-speed rail system will travel near or through disadvantaged communities designated as Opportunity Zones. High-speed rail stations will serve as a catalyst for infill development, which will include affordable housing and other benefits to local communities. The Authority has worked with local governments over the last several years to prepare for future high-speed rail stations. The Authority, in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration, dedicated funding to support station cities in completing station area plans that are consistent with and supportive of local and regional planning efforts required by SB 375 and the Authority’s Station Area Development Policies. To date, the Authority has executed planning agreements with the cities of Gilroy, Merced, Fresno, San José, Bakersfield, Palmdale and Burbank, and with the Tulare County Association of Governments and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.
These agreements allow the Authority to work closely with station jurisdictions and other service providers to promote city-regeneration opportunities and enable more sustainable, district-scale development. These efforts also include working with regional and local transit providers to enhance multi-modal connectivity to high-speed rail stations and surrounding transportation improvements. Ultimately, the work will facilitate adoption of amendments to general plans and zoning codes and will help develop financing and phasing plans to support the station area plans, as well as options to attract private investors.
High-Speed Rail information: