High-speed rail business plan release is delayed 

click to enlarge The release of the new business plan from the California High Speed Rail Authority has been delayed. (AP file) - THE RELEASE OF THE NEW BUSINESS PLAN FROM THE CALIFORNIA HIGH SPEED RAIL AUTHORITY HAS BEEN DELAYED. (AP FILE)
  • The release of the new business plan from the California High Speed Rail Authority has been delayed. (AP file)
  • The release of the new business plan from the California High Speed Rail Authority has been delayed. (AP file)

The hotly-anticipated release of the California High Speed Rail Authority’s new business plan will come a little later than expected.

Originally projected to come out Oct. 14, the Authority is holding off on releasing the document until Nov. 1. The Authority said in a release Tuesday that the delay was to allow two recent appointees to the agency’s board—Dan Richard and Michael Rossi — ample time to catch up on the myriad funding and planning issues for the ambitious project.

“I look forward to having these extra two weeks to delve into the business plan — which numbers in the hundreds of pages — and take a close look at the funding, ridership, and implementation information it presents,” Richard said in the release.

Authority figures originally projected the total cost of the plan, which is slated to connect passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in a little more than 2 ½ hours, at $43 billion. However, the initial segment of project has already exceeded its projected budget, and the Authority’s executive director, Roelof van Ark, conceded that the total cost of the undertaking is likely to rise as well.

Opponents of the plan said it will actually cost more like $66 billion to complete.

The Authority has secured about $3.5 billion in federal funding and $9.95 billion in a voter-approved state bond measure for the project. The release of the business plan on Nov. 1 is expected to reveal more details about how the state agency will find funding for the rest of the project.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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