California High-Speed Rail Authority meets in L.A. January 12, 2012

Next Thursday the California High Speed Rail Authority is holding its monthly meeting in the Board Room at the Metro Headquarters Building adjacent to Union Station beginning at 10 a.m. The agenda is now posted online.

March of last year is when the Authority last met in Los Angeles. In the interim there has been a lot of strum and drang by critics yet the project continues plowing forward, most recently releasing a revised/more realistic 2012 draft Business Plan for comment.

Meeting items include “the outcome of the conceptual study of the Grapevine alternative” (#4) and an “update [to] the Board on Station Area Planning Funding Agreements and coordination activities with cities along the Central Valley initial construction segment and future initial operating segment” (#6). Those should result in some interesting Board discussions.

A useful overview of the status of the project was presented at this month’s meeting of the Board of the San Bernardino Associated Governments (item #17, pp.199-219). This includes analysis of the new Business Plan draft prepared by the Legislative Analyst’s Office and state Senate staff.

BTW, since I publicly worried who would succeed Alex Clifford as Metro’s high speed rail point person I’ll take this opportunity to note late March of last year Don Sepulveda was hired as Metro’s Executive Officer for Regional Rail. I’ve been impressed by his grasp of the issues on his plate as exemplified by the presentation he made in November to the annual meeting of the Train Riders’ Association of California.

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