Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Biden says California is Prime Target for High Speed Rail Project

Although California is in a budget crisis, Vice President Joe Biden said that the state's high-speed rail project is well positioned to compete for a large share of the $8 billion that the Obama administration set aside in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for rail lines.

The planned high-speed rail system would commute passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2 hours and 40 minutes. The train would stop in Palmdale, Ca as a major stop, and it would be a major boost for the local economy, making access to the Antelope Valley even easier. California voters approved $9 billion in bonds for the project in the recent November election. The state hopes federal funding and the private sector will complete the expected $34 billion estimated budget, which is only the first phase, which would connect San Francisco to Anaheim. The second phase would further connect a total 800 miles from Sacramento to San Diego traveling primarily down the center of the State via Fresno and Bakersfield. Construction between Anaheim and San Francisco would take at least a decade, according to planners.

Reports indicate that the portion that initially applies to the Recovery Act criteria for high-speed rail would be the rail line between San Francisco to San Jose and Los Angeles to Anaheim. The administration is looking for “shovel ready” opportunities which entail having contracts awarded by 2012 and work completed by 2017.

The potential real estate impact for the Antelope Valley is years away, but it bodes well for towns just outside of major metropolitan areas. There will be vacant land opportunities up and down the State, and this is another example for buying land within the path of growth, and getting there before development creates the greatest percentage of growth. We will see how this all transpires, but the focus of California and the current administration is mass transit and near term employment opportunities.

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