Judge tentatively rules against high-speed rail opponents

A judge has tentatively rejected arguments by opponents of California's high-speed rail project that the state is improperly spending bond money approved by voters in 2008.

The parties will appear in Sacramento Superior Court today, with opponents trying to convince Judge Richard Sueyoshi to change his mind. It's the second time a judge has rejected the argument, and the latest win by the California High-Speed Rail Authority as it seeks to get past years of lawsuits. The day before, the authority settled with a small Central Valley town, leaving just one environmental lawsuit against the project.

Voters in 2008 approved $10 billion in bond money toward building a high-speed train between Los Angeles and San Francisco, that’s expected to deliver riders between the two cities in less than three hours. It would be the nation's first high-speed train.

In addition to lawsuits, the project has faced repeated cost overruns and delays. The train is now expected to be finished by 2033 at a cost of $77 billion. The state is far from generating that much money.

 

Dawn Kamber