Reps. Jim Costa (CA-20), Zoe Lofgren (CA-16), and Laura Richardson (CA-37), co-chairs of the California High-Speed Rail Caucus, sent a letter Tuesday to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in support of conducting a study on the long-term feasibility of the California high-speed rail project requested by House Republicans in December.
The letter urges GAO to provide transparency and oversight of California's high-speed rail project by consulting with an array of expert witnesses whose views were left out of previous reviews, like the one conducted by the California Legislature's Legislative Analyst's Office in May. The lawmakers requested that in reviewing high-speed rail's feasibility, GAO include a comprehensive review of the ability of California's current transportation system to accommodate its booming population and the comparable cost of updating other modes of transportation.
Costa, Lofgren and Richardson were joined in sending the letter by two top Democrats on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee as well six additional California Democrats. Costa, Lofgren and Richardson released the following statements:
Rep. Jim Costa- "We all agree that transparency and oversight are critical to any major infrastructure project. This letter simply asks that the Government Accountability Office conduct a comprehensive analysis that puts the facts, not politics, first."
Rep. Zoe Lofgren- "The investment in California High-Speed Rail will provide immense benefits to the state of California. This project should be treated like any other infrastructure project and we welcome a comprehensive review by the GAO. We look forward to a thorough review that includes input from many individuals and stakeholders and looks at all aspects of the project."
Rep. Laura Richardson- "A project of this scale deserves a thorough and open review process to ensure accountability and fairness for all parties involved. Our request reiterates the need for an extensive review by consulting the experts that are knowledgeable on every aspect of this project."