ASKED QUESTIONS (TOP 10):
Question: When will the
statewide high-speed system be built?
Answer: The Initial Operating
Section (IOS) of high-speed rail, the beginning
of Phase 1 of the overall system will connect
Merced to the San Fernando Valley gateway
to Los Angeles. It will be approximately
300 miles and service will start in 2022.
Question: When will they
break ground on the Merced to Fresno section
of high-speed rail.
Answer: The Merced to Fresno
section is scheduled to break ground in
Question: How will high-speed
rail affect agriculture land?
Answer: Yes there will
be impacts to agriculture land like any
other major statewide infrastructure project.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority
has given significant concessions to farmers
as a result of a recent lawsuit settlement.
The Authority will make up for the loss
of farmland for the railroad right of way
by purchasing agricultural conservation
easements on property of similar quality
elsewhere in the region. Those easements
would preserve the land from any use other
than agriculture. The Authority will also
offer direct compensation for landowners
affected by the project.
Question: How many jobs
will it create?
Answer: When the Merced
to Fresno section breaks ground in 2013,
the project will create 20,000 jobs annually
for the next five years. According to the
U.S. News and World Reports in November
2011, six of the top ten U.S. cities where
it’s hardest to find a job are located
in the Central Valley. The Authority Board
has also adopted a Community Benefits Policy
to ensure participation of community-based
small businesses and individuals in economically
distressed areas in the construction of
the system. High-speed rail means tens of
thousands of good, family-supporting jobs
for California — jobs not just to
build the trains and the train line, but
also jobs to operate and maintain it. And
there’s more — hundreds more
jobs will be created for suppliers, restaurants
and other businesses along the route. As
many as 100,000 construction-related jobs
each year that the system is being built.
The potential for 450,000 permanent new
jobs statewide created by the economic growth
high-speed rail will generate over the next
Question: Is there enough
funding to build the statewide system?
Answer: Developing the
first segment of the Initial Operating Section
Merced to Bakersfield will cost $6 billion,
consisting of $3.3 billion in federal funding
and $2.6 billion in Proposition 1A bond
proceeds. The remaining portions of the
IOS will be funded using state bonds, federal
support, and local funds. Cap and Trade
funds are also available as needed, upon
appropriation, as a backstop against federal
and local support to complete the IOS. In
order to secure federal funding made available
through the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act (ARRA) of 2009, the U.S. Department
of Transportation (DOT) required that project
construction start in the Central Valley.
They did so for two primary reasons: (1)
developing rail infrastructure in relatively
flat, rural areas allows for lower construction
costs as well as more opportunity for necessary
testing; and (2) by law, ARRA funds must
be expended by 2017; a deadline that could
not be met if construction were to start
in densely-populated urban areas.
Question: What are the
benefits of building the system?
Answer: Economic benefits
of high-speed rail are: tens of thousands
of good jobs to construct, operate and maintain
the system. As many as 100,000 construction
related jobs each year that the system is
being built. Also, there will be improved
movement of people, goods and services as
well as congestion relief on freeways and
Environmental benefits of high-speed rail
are: electric power to the trains can be
produced by sustainable and renewable power
sources like wind and solar, this system
will cut air pollution and smog throughout
California. It will improve air quality
and he improved energy efficiency high-speed
rail uses only one third the energy of airplanes
and one-fifth the energy of the family car.
The system also reduces greenhouse gas emissions
12 billion pounds less per year.
Community benefits of high-speed rail are:
cheaper, faster and more convenient travel
connected to local public transportation
and revitalized communities and economic
development around new transportation terminals.
Question: Will Merced have
a station? If so where will it be located?
Answer: The High Speed
Rail Authority’s consultants have
been developing more detailed information
about the downtown Merced station. A portion
of the proposed California High Speed Rail
is slated to be located in Downtown Merced
on the Union Pacific railroad tracks (between
W. 15th and W. 16th Streets). Should the
project come to fruition, a station would
be built along the line between G Street
and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.
Question: When will I know
if the Authority needs to acquire my property
for the high-speed rail system and how will
they do it?
Answer: Once a property
owner is identified as being in the path
of the publicly noticed designated preferred
alternative, the Authority may move forward
with the appraisal process, the first step
in acquiring the required property. The
Authority’s appraiser is typically
the first person to contact the property
owner. If all or a portion of the property
is required for the project, a written notice
is sent to the property owner inviting him/her
to accompany the appraiser on an inspection
of the property. The appraisal process typically
begins several months before the property
is required for construction. The exact
timing of the appraisal will be based on
the project schedule and needs. Upon completion
of the appraisal process, and after approval
of the Final EIR/EIS, the Authority’s
Right-of-Way Agent assigned to purchase
the property will contact the property owner.
For further information, please review the
booklet, “Your Property, Your High-Speed
Rail Project,” online for more detailed
information about the appraisal and acquisition
processes, or call the Authority at 916-324-1541
to request a copy.
Question: Is it true that
the California High-Speed Rail Authority
will pay to relocate the businesses affected?
If so, how much?
Answer: Yes, businesses,
farm and nonprofit organizations displaced
by the high-speed rail project are eligible
for relocation advisory and payments. If
you are required to move as the result of
the Project, a Relocation Agent will contact
you. The Relocation Agent will be able to
answer your specific questions and provide
Question: How does the
procurement work with the High-Speed Rail
Answer: Contact Robert
Padilla, Small Business Advocate of the
California High-Speed Rail Authority at
916-324-1541 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you are interested in finding out how
to secure a contract with the California
High-Speed Rail Authority.