The last time we checked in on the construction of California Governor Jerry Brown’s legacy project, the high speed train connecting Los Angeles to San Fransisco, it was already already $3.6 billion over budget and seven years behind schedule.
In that piece, I a surmised that federal funding to help complete this project could be axed, as several pricey grants were sitting on the desks of administrators now working for President Trump (who has been defied and mocked by numerous California politicos, including our governor).
Sure enough, the Secretary of Transportation has halted the transfer of millions of dollars in funding for the bullet train:
In the first big hit to the Bay Area from the Trump administration, newly minted Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has put the brakes on $647 million for Caltrain to go electric — and in the process pretty much killed hopes for high-speed rail coming to San Francisco anytime soon.
…In a Jan. 24 letter to Chao, all 14 Republicans in the state’s congressional delegation called for the Caltrain money to be put on hold until a full audit is done on high-speed rail. On Friday, Chao obliged — the Federal Transit Administration, which she oversees, said a decision on the $647 million federal grant needed to keep the project going would be delayed.
In response, Brown is now rethinking his earlier, independent stance and is requesting that Trump administration release the monies to the state.