CA Transit Trouble and Australia Forms High Speed Rail Authority

June 19, 2023

 • Newsletter

California Transit Budget Negotiations

California transit is in jeopardy, along with the state’s ambitious plans for high-speed rail and combating climate change. The core problem is that California’s big plans demand a level of commitment to trains and transit systems that the state’s leadership hasn’t yet demonstrated. That’s been true of the state’s high-speed rail project for many years, and right now transit is facing a similar problem.

Public transportation systems across California are facing major budget shortfalls in the aftermath of the pandemic. If this is not addressed with state funding, agencies will be forced to implement devastating, potentially irrecoverable service cuts that pose a devastating threat to California’s future.

In late May, Governor Newsom released a budget proposal that would leave transit agencies with a shortfall of up to $8 billion over five years. If passed, this would have devastating effects to the state’s transit agencies, likely resulting in layoffs and reduced service.

There’s some good news, as the Legislature’s version of the budget passed Thursday. Their budget includes the funding for transit that the Governor’s budget proposed cutting. It would also provide an additional $1.1 billion over the next three years for the Zero Emission Transit Capital program.

For the Legislature’s version to become final, Governor Newsom has to sign off before July 1.

California residents, please tell the Governor and Legislature to support transit funding.

P.S. Read our more in-depth coverage on the issue California is facing from earlier this week.

Read More:

California Lawmakers Pass Their Proposed Budget, Negotiations Continue With Newsom

Good News for East Bay Public Transit: State Funds for BART and AC Transit Could Be Restored

Lamwakers Pass State Budget With Transit Aid — When Will We Know if Gov. Newsom Is on Board?

Is Destination in Sight for California Public Transit?

California Transit Is Barreling Toward a Fiscal Cliff, Officials Warn

State Leaders Rally for Transit Funding in Budget

 A map of the preferred alignment of Australian east coast high speed rail system in a 2013 report to the Australian Government.<br />

A map of the preferred alignment of Australian east coast high speed rail system in a 2013 report to the Australian Government.

Australia High Speed Rail Authority Forms

The Australian High Speed Rail Authority marked its first day of operation on June 13. The authority will oversee the development of a high-speed rail network along the east coast of Australia.

The government has committed $500 million (AUD) for the planning and corridor work for the initial Sydney to Newcastle segment. The larger vision is for a high-speed rail system that stretches from Brisbane to Melbourne, connecting the three biggest cities in Australia.

Read More:

Can the New High Speed Rail Authority Deliver After 4 Decades of Costly Studies?

High Speed Rail Authority Is Ready to Roll

All Aboard High Speed Rail Authority


It’s Time to Move Amtrak to Cleveland’s Tower City

When you have an opportunity to expend the same or similar effort and money that would achieve the better of two outcomes, why not pursue the better outcome? That’s the decision Greater Cleveland has yet to make when looking at a transportation ingredient to two major waterfront development masterplans. One is the downtown lakefront development led by the Haslam Sports Group. The other is the Tower City Riverfront development led by Bedrock Real Estate. Both are supported by civic organizations and all levels of government.

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Rendering of a modern EMU at South Station in Boston.
Rendering of a modern EMU at South Station in Boston. Photo: TransitMatters

6/30 Webinar: Regional Rail in Boston with TransitMattters

Come learn about TransitMatters’ advocacy for Regional Rail in Boston. They envision a new business model centered around transforming the region’s commuter rail network into a modern, electric network and fleet of vehicles to bring rapid-transit like frequent and reliable service to the entire Metro Boston region. This would be transformative for the region and their work is a good model for other commuter rail networks looking to make the switch to a Regional Rail system.

Speaker: Jarred Johnson, Executive Director, TransitMatters

Register Here

7/14 Webinar: Moving Towards Regional Rail with Metra

Please join us for a webinar with Metra to learn how they are moving towards a regional rail service model. This is an important strategic shift that was outlined in Metra’s latest Strategic Plan, “My Metra, Our Future.” At its core, the shift to regional rail means offering more frequent service throughout the day, which can meet the demand for trip types beyond just commuting. It’s a bold new vision for Metra and we are excited to learn more about their goals.

Speaker: David Kralik, AICP, Director of Planning and Programming, Metra.

Register Here

Level boarding on a Metra Electric platform

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New Plans for Virginia’s Passenger Rail Expansion

New Plans for Virginia’s Passenger Rail Expansion

The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) has begun preliminary discussions with Northeast freight operator Norfolk Southern Railways (NS) about alternative ways to expand Virginia’s passenger rail service. Earlier this year, plans were drafted to extend the N-Line...