Caltrain asks White House to reverse high-speed rail funding cut

There's $647 million and critical state infrastructure at stake.

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After Republicans successfully lobbied US Transportation secretary Elaine Chao to halt approval of a $650 million dollar grant for an electrification project that would have laid the groundwork for a high-speed rail network, Caltrain is asking the public for its support in getting that decision reversed.

Specifically, Caltrain launched a White House petition on Monday, requesting that the President allow the project, which would generate an estimated 9,600 jobs, to continue as planned. The electrification project is currently on pause after the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) decided that it needs "additional time to complete review of this significant commitment of federal resources." Unfortunately, Caltrain has already signed binding agreements to begin work in earnest on the project by the start of March and the penalties associated with missing that deadline are severe enough to derail the entire project.

The petition has so far generated just under 3,500 signatures -- it requires 100,000 by March 20th to make it to the president's desk. Though there's no guarantee that he'll do anything with it when it does.