Gov. Newsom's transportation budget includes $4.2 billion to controversial high-speed rail project

ByZach Fuentes via KGO logo
Friday, January 14, 2022
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Governor Newsom spoke in the Bay Area about major transportation and infrastructure investments across the state.

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. -- Governor Gavin Newsom was in the Bay Area on Thursday to talk about major transportation and infrastructure investments across the state.

Newsom spoke in Santa Clara County about advancing climate-friendly clean transit projects and speeding up the transition to zero-emission vehicles. The governor was joined by Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor and State Senator Bob Wieckowski.

RELATED: Newsom says more COVID testing sites, medical staff coming to CA

"There is no state in America," Newsom said. "That comes close to a commitment of radically changing our system of transportation by cleaning and greening it."

The governor has set aside $9.1 billion in his budget for transportation.

The transportation budget includes:

  • $4.2 billion for high-speed rail
  • $2 billion in transit and rail projects
  • $1.2 billion in local projects
  • $750 million in bicycle/pedestrian safety/connecting communities projects
  • $500 million in grade separation
  • $400 mllion for climate adapation

Billions are also devoted to supporting zero-emission vehicles and charging infrastructure for them in low-income communities in the state.

He also plans to use the money to change out heavy-duty trucks and buses, including school buses, with zero-emission vehicles.

Another main part of the budget is $4.2 billion to finish the first phase of the controversial high-speed rail project.

RELATED: Government terminates $928 million contract with high-speed rail

"A big part of our broader strategy is to connect the Central Valley, Central Coast, Northern California, Southern California, the entire state of California," the governor said.

The governor's budget proposal still needs to go through the state legislature.

After that, a revision will be presented in May before it's up for final approval in June.

For now, the governor expressed optimism for what can be done with the $286.4 billion dollar budget proposal that includes billions in surplus.

"No other Western democracy, the United States included," Newsom said, "Has outperformed California in economic growth in the last five years."