Tag Archives: Pacheco Pass

Pacheco Pass trumps the Altamont Pass for High Speed Rail

The battle of whether to run the High Speed Rail Line through the Altamont Pass or the Pacheco Pass was pretty much a lose-lose for the Commission headed by former Legislator Quentin Kopp. If they chose the Altamont Pass they gave cities in the East Bay good access to the train, but kept the train far from Gilroy and Santa Cruz. And of course, by choosing Pacheco, the Board has angered the East Bay folks.  Thanks to the Chronicle for this handy-dandy map –>

But, while there was little debate by the board at this meeting, it was not without fireworks. San Jose Mayor (and sometimes Democrat) Chuck Reed and SF Mayor Gavin Newsom showed up at the meeting in Sacramento yesterday. However, while this meeting featured the big names arguing for the Pacheco pass route, some members of Congress and other various politicians have threatened federal funding for the rail system if it didn’t go through the Altamont Pass. Ahh…fun.

Either way, it looks like next year just might be the year we see the $10B in bonds for high speed rail. That alone won’t be enough to get this done, but it would certainly provide plenty of motivation to get the process really moving. The Governator has indicated that he might just let this get on to the ballot. From the Chronicle:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tried earlier this year to persuade the Legislature to delay the ballot measure until 2010 or 2012, but his spokeswoman, Sabrina Lockhart, indicated Wednesday that effort may be over.

“The governor has not yet taken a position on that ballot measure, and there have been no recent proposals to delay it again,” she said. “The governor is supportive of high-speed rail and has been working with the authority to develop a comprehensive funding plan.”

Whether Arnold comes out in favor of the plan is still up in the air, but if he does give his blessing, perhaps the stars will align for a successful 2008 campaign for HSR.

Flip it for the fun HSR video.