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Bullet train agency says costs will be trimmed by $30 billion

April 2, 2012 | 11:52 am

 

The agency overseeing California’s ambitious high-speed rail project unveiled a new business plan Monday that reduces the project’s cost by $30 billion by embracing a “blended” approach that uses some existing tracks rather than ones exclusively built for the bullet train.

Those tracks would be used in conjunction with new high-speed rail routes, a move officials say would greatly reduce construction costs and shave years off the time needed to build a faster north-south connection.

“I believe this plan is credible, reasonable and transparent,” said Michael E. Rossi of the California High-Speed Rail Authority board of directors. “It will allow greater and more convenient travel possibilities,” he said.

According to the new plan, there would be a 300-mile first segment connecting Merced in the Central Valley to the San Fernando Valley within 10 years. An earlier draft included only a 130-mile portion of that.

Even with the $30-billion reduction, the project remains $25 billion more than the original price tag.

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