It was a huge week in Washington for the transportation sector as the issues we care about took center stage – here’s a roundup of the important storylines for California emerging from the District of Columbia:
- President Obama’s proposed FY 2013 budget included $47 billion for high-speed rail over the next six years – much of this money could go to California’s HSR project, the only such project in the nation that would achieve speeds of 220 mph. Robert Cruickshank points out that this would put California’s project in a very strong position, especially if the Democrats retake the House and Obama is re-elected.
- The president’s budget also includes $150 million for BART‘s San Jose extension, $150 million for Muni‘s Central Subway, and $50 million for LA. Metro‘s Westside Subway. Other projects getting a nod from the White House include the L.A. Regional Connector, the Van Ness and East Bay BRT projects, phase 2 of Sacramento RT‘s South Light Rail Line, and San Diego’s Mid-Coast light rail corridor (Keep in mind, of course, that this is only from the proposed budget).
- The House’s legitimately horrible transpo bill – which would eliminate dedicated sources of funding for transit and bike-ped improvements – continues to live on, albeit in three parts. The President has said he will veto it, assuming it ever passed the Senate. If it were to go into law, the bill would cost California billions in federal investment, including an estimated $638 million annually to Bay Area transit agencies alone.