Feds agree to restore $1B to California for bullet train

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The federal government has agreed to restore roughly $1 billion in funding for a bullet train project in California.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Thursday night that the Transportation Department would provide nearly $929 million for the state’s high-speed rail project. Newsom said the money would help workers complete the initial operating segment of the project, which would be the nation’s first high-speed rail system.

“Tonight’s action by the federal government is further proof that California and the Biden-Harris Administration share a common vision  clean, electrified transportation that will serve generations to come. Restoring nearly $929 million in grant funding back to California’s High-Speed Rail project will continue to spur job creation, advance the project and move the state one step closer to getting trains running in California as soon as possible,” said Newsom.

The announcement marks a win for Newsom, who has sought to have the federal government restore funding for the project after the Trump administration rescinded it in 2019.

California voters first approved nearly $10 billion in bonds for the project in 2008. The rail, which aims to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco, was supposed to be operational by 2020.

However, cost overruns and construction delays have hindered the project. Officials say they intend on having the rail run through a part of the state’s central valley by 2029.

Critics have seized on the costly delays, but Newsom has insisted the rail is a crucial tool to connect two of California’s largest cities.

The announcement could serve as a boon to Newsom as he faces down a recall election later this year. Republican detractors have pounced on his management of the state during the coronavirus pandemic, but polls show that the majority of voters support keeping Newsom in his post.

Tags California Gavin Newsom High-speed rail

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