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.”
“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.