Assemblywoman Luz Rivas’ Questions Remain on High Speed Rail

Thursday, May 9, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-Arleta) concerned about continued costs overruns, lack of federal engagement, and Southern California’s benefits of the High Speed Rail Project’s proposed operation between Merced and Bakersfield, asked several questions to obtain greater certainty about one of the nation’s largest public works project. In Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources and Transportation, which the Assemblywoman is a member of, the California High Speed Rail Authority provided a newly redesigned rail project.

Assemblywoman Luz Rivas issued the following statement on California’s High Speed Rail Proposal: “As an engineer, I believe the state needs innovative solutions to upgrade our transportation system, while guaranteeing all Californians’ access to safe and affordable transportation. I support the Governor’s commitment to increase oversight and transparency, and applaud him for increasing accountability and stricter monitoring of how taxpayer dollars are spent. However, there are a number of ongoing challenges in the High Speed Rail Plan. These challenges include the lack of reliable funding; the continuous delay and cost of construction; possible displacement of communities and families; and the project will only operate a continuous line from Merced to Bakersfield. I believe those funds could be used to improve transit in my district and the L.A. region.  Doing so would still provide critical jobs and ultimately increase local rail ridership.

While high-speed rail is important to the Central Valley, in my district, it doesn’t solve the day-to-day transportation issues that my constituents face. The 39th Assembly District is currently proposed as the “preferred route” for the High Speed Rail project through the San Fernando Valley. While this project will be built through a largely disadvantaged community, there are no places for my constituents to get on the train; neither do I think many of them could afford the price of the tickets to ride the train, even if there were a stop.”

Assemblywoman Rivas proudly represents the 39th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Arleta, Lake View Terrace, Granada Hills, Mission Hills, North Hollywood, Pacoima, Sun Valley, Sunland-Tujunga, Sylmar, and San Fernando.