It appears there won’t be any boarding of trains in the city of Palo Alto, as the City Council recently voted unanimously against allowing a stop for High-Speed Rail in its city. Council members decided to inform the California High-Speed Rail Authority that they don’t want a train station in Palo Alto to be part of the rail’s route up in the Bay. Palo Alto, along with Mountain View and Redwood, were being considered for a 67,000-square-foot mid-Peninsula station, but officials voted against it due to concerns about traffic and the costs of building a large parking structure for it. The station would have been along the route from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Mercury News reports:
“The council fell short Monday night of taking a formal stance against a station anywhere along the mid-Peninsula, saying it doesn't want to speak for other cities. ‘I'm a little uncomfortable with telling Redwood City what to do,’ Councilman Larry Klein said as the council considered a recommendation by Councilman Greg Scharff to expand the letter to express opposition to a station anywhere on the mid-Peninsula. Though the council rejected Scharff's suggestion, it agreed to include in its letter that most of the reasons it opposes the station would apply to other potential locations along the mid-Peninsula.”
In other rail-related news, the project has gotten a big financial boost from the federal government, thanks to a $902-million grant that was awarded for rail improvements throughout the Golden State. The high-speed rail system is slated to receive at least $731 million. Much of the money has been specifically tagged for the Central Valley, as $715 million will help pay for the design and construction of a section of the planned bullet train in that region; in addition, around $16 million will go toward a route between San Francisco and San Jose. Gov. Schwarzenegger said the following of the grant: “These additional funds are a tremendous vote of confidence for California's high-speed rail project. I thank the federal government for recognizing the value of accelerating the pace of our project and look forward to the many groundbreakings sure to follow." Overall, the federal government is dishing out $2.5 billion for rail projects throughout the nation. Read more here.