Bullet-train bidding could start in '11By Eric Young
California's bullet-train planners expect to start taking bids by late 2011 from companies hoping to build the system connecting San Francisco and southern California.
The state has until September 2011 to complete an environmental review of the line intended to zip riders between the Bay Area and Los Angeles in less than three hours, Quentin Kopp, a California High-Speed Rail Authority board member, told Bloomberg on Friday.
Bids, likely from about 10 train manufacturers, will then be reviewed, Kopp told the news agency.
"Allow four months for the conclusion of proposals and bids, and I estimate conservatively that construction will begin by the first part of 2012," Kopp told Bloomberg.
"I do expect many" bids from international companies, said Kopp, who was attending the U.S. High-Speed Rail Association conference in Los Angeles. "We have no examples within the United States, no models to follow," he told Bloomberg.
California earlier this year won a $2.3 billion federal grant to help build the high-speed link. Plus voters approved $10 billion in bonds in 2008 to pay for the rail line.
But planners need much more money to cover the estimated $42.6 billion project. Bullet train planners are preparing backup financial plans in case the current formula - which relies on taxpayer money, bonds and private investment - falls short.
Copyright ©2010 San Francisco Business Times. Published 06/18/2010.