Senator Cathleen Galgiani, Author of the State’s High Speed Rail Legislation, Responds to Governor Newsom’s Commitment to Getting the First Phase of the High Speed Rail Project Done “Once and For All.”

February 12, 2019

Senator Cathleen Galgiani, Author of the State’s High Speed Rail Legislation, Responds to Governor Newsom’s Commitment to Getting the First Phase of the High Speed Rail Project Done “Once and For All.”

In one of the clearest signs of support for the state’s High Speed Rail project, in his State of the State address today, Governor Gavin Newsom pledged to complete the first segment of the project running through the state’s Central Valley.  Pledging to “Let’s get something done once and for all,” Newsom outlined a path forward that included using all available federal funds, making the first segment operational, completing environmental quality reviews and connecting the Central Valley segment to other parts of the state.

In response to this news, Senator Cathleen Galgiani, the author of the state’s high speed rail legislation released the following statement:

I am ecstatic that in his first State of the State address that Governor Newsom has made a firm commitment to High Speed Rail.  The Governor has recognized that High Speed Rail is part of the housing shortage solution. We have affordable housing in the Central Valley - but Central Valley workers are spending 20 to 30 hours a week commuting to jobs in the Silicon Valley and greater Bay Area.  The Governor has made a commitment to connect jobs and affordable housing by finishing the line in the Valley that connects with the ACE and Caltrain rail systems traveling to San Jose and San Francisco. 

I think his leadership brings great stability to the project; it gives the communities that surround the train’s route the needed assurances of the viability of the project in order to make the long-term infrastructure investments necessary to create a fully integrated rail system.  And, it sends a strong message to the business and investment community that it is okay to start making long-term plans with High Speed Rail in mind.

Certainly we need to get the first segment up and running and I’m pleased that the Governor has set that goal.  And, I agree with Governor Newsom that High Speed Rail is more than “a train project.”  I think he was right in recognizing how the project can “unlock the enormous potential of the Valley” where we can align our economic and workforce development strategies.

But, let’s be clear once and for all: High Speed Rail is coming, it’s being built, it’s part of our landscape now, it’s not going anywhere, it’s part of California’s Central Valley and now we can, with great confidence, begin planning around this very important transportation project that will do so much good for all of California.  I’m very excited about this news.  This is great news not only for the Central Valley, but for our environment, for commuters, for businesses and for further investment in our state.