warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

California High-Speed Rail System Bill Gets Signed

Francesca Martens |
July 18, 2012 | 3:35 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer


Governor Jerry Brown has high hopes for the project. (Flickr/LWVC)
Governor Jerry Brown has high hopes for the project. (Flickr/LWVC)
On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the $8 billion bill to kick off high-speed rail construction. 

According to the San Jose Mercury News, $6 billion will be funneled toward the building of the first tracks in the Central Valley in the first months of next year. The remaining $2 billion will 'beef up transit' and be used toward electrifying the existing Caltrain line between San Francisco and San Jose. 

The governor also spent a considerable amount of time trying to win back voters who are now largely opposed to the high-speed rail system because of its high cost and uncertain prospects of completion. Brown is relying on taxpayers' approval in order to pass Prop 30 which would hike sales taxes and those on the wealthy in order to avoid cuts to education and state services.

The Huffington Post reported that taxpayers are not the only ones against the project. Farmers unions view it as an "imminent threat" to the Central Valley, land that is considered some of the most agriculturally productive in the U.S.

In spite of detractors, Brown stands by the project and hopes to get Californians on his side.

"The legislation will help put thousands of people in California back to work," Brown said. "By improving regional transportation systems, we are investing in the future of our state and making California a better place to live and work."

The signing event was split between the Transbay Transit Center Construction Site in San Francisco and Union Station in Los Angeles, the two hubs that the train would connect once finished.

For more of Neon Tommy's coverage of the high-speed rail system click here.

Reach Executive Producer Francesca Martens here; follow her here.




Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.