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California's High-Speed Rail Project Piques Private-Investor Interest

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— California's high-speed rail project could be getting a financial shot in the arm from the private sector.

California's new budget allocates a quarter of the fees collected through the state's cap-and-trade program to high-speed rail that should eventually connect the Bay Area to Los Angeles. This development seems to be somewhat of a game changer for private investment.

California High Speed Rail Authority chairman Dan Richard says 10 different private companies wrote the state in favor of the budget allocation.

California's High-Speed Rail Project Piques Private Investor Interest

"That gives us a stable funding source and that funding source was in great interest to the private sector, because it means that they can look to investment in a program that they believe has some stability to it," Richard said.

However, Elizabeth Alexis with Californians Advocating Responsible Rail Design says private money won't fix the system's problems.

"The project has not improved. You're just throwing good money after bad at this point," Alexis said.

Back in November a Sacramento judge stopped the High-Speed Rail Authority from spending bond money voters approved for the project in 2008.

A decision on an appeal of that ruling is expected in late August.

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