SF Supervisors approve electrification funding; next step, High Speed Rail board

Update:  The High Speed Rail board voted unanimously to approve the funding for Caltrain electrification and the San Mateo Hillsdale grade separations. Board members including Michael Rossi and Tom Richards expressed concern about exposure to potential cost over-runs, since High Speed Rail is dependent on the project, and asked staff to pay attention to risk management and project oversight.

At today’s special Board of Supervisors meeting, the Supervisors voted unanimously for a resolution to commit $20M from San Francisco, with revised oversight protocols to protect funding partners’ interests, given the heightened concern about Caltrain’s troubled train control project.

The vote was 7-0, with the changes proposed by Supervisor Peskin, who had led the call for delay to address the oversight issues,other Supervisors who came back for the special meeting on a day that had been scheduled for a recess, and Supervisors Avalos, Campos, Cohen, and Farrell absent.

While additional oversight provisions will also need to be agreed to by the other funding partners, Caltrain believes that this can be done without affecting the schedule for the project, including a $647 million grant application from the federal government, which will be decided by the end of the year, and $1.2billion in contracts for the electrification construction and electric rail cars.

Thanks to the City of San Francisco for ensuring strong oversight of the train control project, to the Supervisors for moving this forward, and to all of the agencies for working together to keep the electrification project moving without delay, and to San Francisco residents who contacted their supervisors urging the City to support the funding and the oversight,

The next step is for the High Speed Rail Authority Board to approve their $113 million share of additional funding at their board meeting on Tuesday at 10am.

By Kabelleger / David Gubler (http://www.bahnbilder.ch) - Own work: http://bahnbilder.ch/picture/7847, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14816326

By Kabelleger / David Gubler (http://www.bahnbilder.ch) – Own work: http://bahnbilder.ch/picture/7847, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14816326