Elizabeth Alexis from CARRD made these comments at the December 2, 2010 California High Speed Rail Authority Board meeting in Sacramento, in response to the corridor selection decision:
You are being asked to keep hope alive in Merced. Sometimes it is better to just rip off the bandaid.
The staff memo lays out an efficient expansion path from San Jose to the San Fernando valley, creating a phase 1a and phase 1b. Prioritization is essential if you have any chance of delivering a high speed rail system.
In September, you certified a route that turns west towards San Jose about 30 miles south of Castle Air force base. At that point, a castle facility no longer made sense, given additional costs of $2 billion to link Castle up with the mainline.
In November, republicans took congress AND your ability to spend money on things that don’t make sense.
Last week, your new budget revealed a 30% increase in costs.
The construction segment your staff has recommended is on the critical path. You should not spend a dime on anything that is not on the critical path.
Keep Castle on the list on the chance that an Altamont corridor overlay gets built, but don’t give out false hope. You brought in Mr. van Ark to make tough choices and he has done that.