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California Proposition 1A (2008)

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Title: California Proposition 1A (2008)  
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Subject: History of rail transportation in California, California Proposition 6 (2008), California Proposition 91 (2008), California Proposition 92 (2008), California Proposition 93 (2008)
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California Proposition 1A (2008)

Proposition 1A (or the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century) is a law that was approved by California voters in the November, 2008 state elections. It was a ballot proposition and bond measure, that allocated funds for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. It now forms Chapter 20 of the California Streets and Highways Code.


The proposition was put before voters by the state legislature. It was originally to appear on the 2004 state election ballot, but was delayed to the 2006 state election because of budgetary concerns raised by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In January 2006, the Governor omitted the initial funds for the project from his $222.6 billion Public Works Bond for the next 10 years. The Governor did include $14.3 million in the 2006-07 budget for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, enough for it to begin some preliminary engineering and detailed study.[1] The proposition was delayed again from 2006 to 2008 to avoid competition with a large infrastructure bond, Proposition 1B, which passed in 2006.

The original proposition would have appeared in the 2008 general election as Proposition 1, but the state legislature enacted Assembly Bill 3034, which replaced that measure with an updated proposal called Proposition 1A. The updated measure included an additional funding requirement and oversight.[2]


The law allocates $9.95 billion to the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Of that sum, $9 billion will be used to construct the core segments of the rail line from San Francisco to the Los Angeles area and the rest will be spent on improvements to local railroad systems that will connect locations away from the high-speed rail mainline to the high-speed system. The project also requires federal matching funds, since the $9.95 billion bond covers only part of the estimated cost of the initial core segment.[2] The money will be raised through general obligation bonds that are paid off over a period of 30 years.[2]


Soon after passage of the initiative in 2008, cost estimates almost tripled, ridership projections fell significantly, and the estimated time of travel along the length of the project doubled.[3] By March 2013, according to a Public Policy Institute of California poll, only 43 percent of likely voters supported the project, a decline of 10 percent from when the measure passed in 2008.[4]


Proposition 1A[5]
Choice Votes %
Referendum passed Yes 6,680,485 52.62
No 6,015,944 47.38
Valid votes 12,696,429 92.38
Invalid or blank votes 1,046,748 7.62
Total votes 13,743,177 100.00


The following people were listed in the official voter information guide [6] as supporters:


The following people were listed in the official voter information guide [7] as opponents:


  1. ^ "Governor funds HSR, but bond delayed to 2008". BayRail Alliance. 2006-07-18. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  2. ^ a b c "Assembly Bill 3034".  
  3. ^ "The Bullet Train Fiasco Reminds Us That California Is Our Greece". Forbes. 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  4. ^ "Poll: Fewer Than Half of Californians Support High-Speed Rail". Transportation Nation. 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  5. ^ "Statement of Vote: 2008 General Election" (PDF).  
  6. ^ "Voter Information Guide: Arguments and Rebuttals".  
  7. ^ "Voter Information Guide: Arguments and Rebuttals".  

External links

  • Full text of Assembly Bill 3034
  • California High Speed Rail Authority official website
  • California High Speed Rail Land Impacts (opponents)
  • Californians for High-Speed Trains (proponents)
  • Summary from the Secretary of State
  • Official Voter Information Guide Arguments and Rebuttals
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