U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein praised Gov. Jerry Brown's revised approach on California's high-speed rail project today, but cautioned that the federal funding for the project could depend on final cost projections.
"Do I think it's doable? Yes. Do I think it's doable with all the bells and whistles? No," Feinstein told reporters after addressing local business and government leaders at the Citizen Hotel in downtown Sacramento. "That's a decision that has to be made."
The revised high-speed rail plan unveiled by the Brown administration late last month relies heavily on federal dollars, counting on $41.9 billion of the projected $68 billion needed for the project coming from the federal government. Feinstein noted that cost has been greatly reduced -- a cut of roughly $30 billion from an earlier business plan -- and that voters already approved nearly $10 billion in bonds to build a bullet train.
Feinstein said Brown has "done the right thing" by focusing on a building a high-speed rail line down the center of the state that would then connect to high-population centers such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. That so-called "blended approach" would rely on some existing infrastructure in urban areas.
"You're really not going to bring, in my view, those high-speed trains into either population area," she said.