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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

CHSRA gives sneak peak at upcoming business plan


At a board meeting yesterday, California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) officials presented a preview of the updated business plan the agency plans to release in October. The upcoming business plan will include the “most comprehensive and well-vetted economic benefit analysis to date,” according to CHSRA.

The presentation featured a preview of the business case, funding plan, construction-to-operations progression, economic and job benefits, funding types and financing sources.

The updated business plan will include peer reviewed and approved travel models, updated inputs, and best practices from federal and state review agencies. It also will include an updated benefit-cost ratio and business model options.

CHSRA plans to contract a design-build team to construct the initial operating segment of the line, then enlist a third party from the private or public sectors to operate the line, according to the presentation. The authority anticipates having a greater chance of attracting private investment for the Bay Area-to-L.A. Basin segment.

CHSRA will need a mix of state, federal and local dollars to build the system — at least until revenue-generating operations begin. Current projections show the system would generate a positive cash flow. As ridership on the initial segment increases, CHSRA could leverage future ridership revenue to finance portions of future capital costs, authority staffers said in their presentation. The authority will need between $3 billion and $4 billion in local, state, federal and private dollars for at least 15 years to build out the system.

CHSRA expects to submit the funding plan to the board on Oct. 3, and to the California legislature, peer review group and director of finance by Oct. 10. The authority expects to submit its draft business plan for public review by Oct. 14.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/26/2011