May 9, 2019 - Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation
March 16, 2021 - Senate Committee on Transportation and Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 5 on Corrections, Public Safety, Labor and Transportation
March 9, 2021 - Analyzes the High-Speed Rail Authority's Revised Draft 2020 Business Plan and provides some issues for legislative consideration.
March 10, 2021 - Presented to: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Climate Crisis, Resources, Energy, and Transportation Hon. Richard Bloom, Chair and Assembly Committee on Transportation Hon. Laura Friedman, Chair
November 29, 2011 - Presented to: Assembly Transportation Committee
March 26, 2019 - Senate Transportation Committee and Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 2 on Resources, Environmental Protection, Energy and Transportation
March 17, 2016 - On February 18, 2016, the California High–Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) released a draft of its 2016 business plan, as required by state law. The plan provides updated information on the project and proposes changes to the project’s construction plan. In this report, we (1) provide background information on the planned high–speed rail system, (2) describe the major changes proposed in the draft 2016 business plan to the project, and (3) identify issues for legislative consideration.
April 2, 2018 - Presented to: Assembly Committee on Transportation
May 10, 2011 - In November 2008, voters approved Proposition 1A, which allows the state to sell $9 billion in general obligation bonds to partially fund the development and construction of the high-speed rail system. In addition, the state has received roughly $3 billion from the federal government for its construction. We describe a number of problems that pose threats to the high-speed rail project’s successful development as envisioned by Proposition 1A and make several recommendations. We recommend that the Legislature direct the High Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) to renegotiate the terms of the federal funding awarded to the state by the Federal Rail Administration. We also recommend that the Legislature pass legislation this session that shifts the responsibility for the day-to-day and strategic development of the project from HSRA to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
April 17, 2012 - In April 2012, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) released its most recent business plan, estimating the cost of constructing the first phase of the high-speed train project at $68 billion. However, the HSRA has secured only about $9 billion in voter approved bond funds and $3.5 billion in federal funds. The revised business plan also makes significant changes from prior plans, such as proposing to integrate high-speed rail with other passenger rail systems, constructing the southern portion of the system first, assuming lower construction costs, and using “cap-and-trade” auction revenues if additional federal funds fail to materialize. Consistent with the HSRA's revised business plan, the Governor’s budget plan for 2012-13 requests $5.9 billion to continue the high-speed rail project--$2.6 billion in state bond funds matched with $3.3 billion in federal funds to begin construction in the Central Valley. In addition, about $800 million is requested to make improvements to existing passenger rail services and about $250 million to complete preliminary design work and environmental reviews for various sections of the project. In this brief report, we find that HSRA has not provided sufficient detail and justification to the Legislature regarding its plan to build a high-speed train system. Specifically, funding for the project remains highly speculative and important details have not been sorted out. We recommend the Legislature not approve the Governor’s various budget proposals to provide additional funding for the project. However, we do recommend that some minimal funding be provided to continue planning efforts that are currently underway.
March 28, 2016 - Presented to: Assembly Committee on Transportation
June 4, 2020 - The final quarterly cap-and-trade auction in 2019-20—which was held in May 2020—generated very little revenue compared to recent auctions. In this post, we discuss how the reduction in cap-and-trade revenues might affect the state’s high-speed rail project.
February 21, 2013 - The Governor’s budget provides a total of $21.1 billion from various fund sources—the General Fund, special funds, bond funds, federal funds, and reimbursements for various transportation departments and programs under the new Transportation Agency in 2013-14. This is an increase of $558 million, or 2.7 percent, above estimated expenditures for the current year. In this report, we review the Governor’s 2013-14 budget proposals for various transportation departments and programs, including the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the California High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA), and the California Highway Patrol. We identify concerns with several of the proposals and make recommendations for legislative consideration. In some cases, we identify proposals that we think should be rejected or modified. We also identify issues that we think would benefit from additional legislative oversight. These include (1) the ability of Caltrans to manage its budget and workload for completing project initiation documents and (2) the HSRA's oversight of the design and construction of the state's high-speed rail project.
February 26, 2019 - The Governor's budget provides a total of $23.5 billion from various fund sources for all transportation departments and programs in 2019-20. This is a net increase of $1.4 billion, or 6 percent, over estimated current-year expenditures. In this report, we (1) review the Governor's 2019-20 transportation proposals, including those for the Motor Vehicle Account (MVA), the implementation of REAL ID, and the high-speed rail project, and (2) identify issues for legislative consideration.
March 27, 2014 - Presented to: Senate Transportation and Housing Committee