Code Section Group

Public Utilities Code - PUC


  ( Division 19.5 added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 796, Sec. 1. )

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions,Findings, and Definitions [185000 - 185012]
  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 796, Sec. 1. )


This division shall be known, and may be cited, as the California High-Speed Rail Act.

(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 796, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1997.)


The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following:

(a) California, over the past decades, has built an extensive network of freeways and airports to meet the state’s growing transportation needs.

(b) These facilities are not adequate to meet the mobility needs of the current population.

(c) The population of the state and the travel demands of its citizens are expected to continue to grow at a rapid rate.

(d) The cost of expanding the current network of highways and airports fully to meet current and future transportation needs is prohibitive, and a total expansion strategy would be detrimental to air quality.

(e) Intercity rail service, when coordinated with urban transit and airports, is an efficient, practical, and less polluting transportation mode that can fill the gap between future demand and present capacity.

(f) Advances in rail technology have allowed intercity rail systems in Europe and Japan to attain speeds of up to 200 miles per hour and compete effectively with air travel for trips in the 200 to 500-mile range.

(g) Development of a high-speed rail system is a necessary and viable alternative to automobile and air travel in the state.

(h) In order for the state to have a comprehensive network of high-speed intercity rail systems by the year 2020, it must begin preparation of a high-speed intercity rail plan similar to California’s former freeway plan and designate an entity with stable and predictable funding sources to implement the plan.

(i) Utilizing existing human and manufacturing resources to build a large network of high-speed rail systems will generate jobs and economic growth for today’s population and produce a transportation network for future generations.

(j) Upon confirmation of the need and costs by detailed studies, the private sector, together with the state, can build and operate new high-speed intercity rail systems utilizing private and public financing.

(k) The existing high-speed rail commission is completing its work and a successor authority to continue planning is necessary.

(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 796, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1997.)


As used in this division, unless the context requires otherwise, the following terms have the following meanings:

(a) “Authority” means the High-Speed Rail Authority.

(b) “Department” means the Department of Transportation.

(c) “High-speed rail” means intercity passenger rail service that utilizes an alignment and technology that makes it capable of sustained speeds of 200 miles per hour or greater.

(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 796, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1997.)

PUCPublic Utilities Code - PUC