California bullet train faces tough vote in Senate

Gov. Jerry Brown's request for $6 billion to start construction of the California bullet train will face a difficult vote in the Legislature in the coming days, prompting some last-minute political maneuvering that could significantly alter the structure of the project.

Brown is seeking approval of a long-standing plan to build 130 miles of rail in the Central Valley from Bakersfield to Madera, creating the backbone of a future rail network that would later connect with Los Angeles and San Francisco.

But the plan has met growing skepticism among some legislators who say it would put the bulk of the initial funding in a low-ridership area that would have little independent value until the full system is completed. An alternative is being crafted to change the geographic distribution of the funds.

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-- Ralph Vartabedian and Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times

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