SACRAMENTO – Board Chairman Tom Umberg today directed California High-Speed Rail Authority staff to postpone its planned release of the business plan until at least Nov. 1 to give Gov. Jerry Brown’s new appointees a chance to fully immerse themselves in the plan and offer their own feedback.
"The California High-Speed Rail Authority has put together an extensive business plan that comprehensively addresses the future of this project,” Umberg said in a news release. “At the same time, we have new appointees to the board who weren't able to be a part of its development. This postponement will provide them the necessary time to participate.”
Staff at the authority had originally set Oct. 14 as a working deadline, though it was not a requirement and does not otherwise affect the project’s schedule, according to the news release But that was before the appointment of two new members to the board – Dan Richard and Michael Rossi – by the governor.
Additionally, Will Kempton, former director of the California Department of Transportation and a peer reviewer of the project, wrote in a letter dated Sept. 16 that “Very frankly, our experience with projects of this type has shown that patience and careful planning at the beginning always pay off in the end.”
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“I look forward to having these extra two weeks to delve into the business plan – which numbers in the hundreds of pages – and take a close look at the funding, ridership and implementation information it presents,” Richard said in the release. “Gov. Brown, the Legislature and all Californians will be well-served by a plan that lays the foundation for the future of this sorely needed transportation option.”
The Nov. 1 publication of the plan will commence a 60-day public comment period, which includes public meetings to be scheduled in November and December.