Rep. Costa Statement On New CA High-Speed Rail Authority CEO

May 6, 2010
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) today released the following statement after Roelof van Ark was named the new CEO of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

“I am a strong supporter of California’s high-speed rail project and commend the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s decision to hire Roelof van Ark as its new CEO. Mr. van Ark brings a wealth of experience to the project, and his proven track record demonstrates the seriousness with which the Authority is taking its mission to build a world-class high-speed train for California.
“High-speed rail will bring great benefits to the Central Valley and California, creating jobs and spurring economic growth to power the state’s future. In the Central Valley alone, the high-speed train is expected to generate more than 135,000 full-time one-year job equivalents over the course of its construction.
“This is a highly complex project and Mr. van Ark has a challenging task ahead of him. However, the Authority has selected someone with experience building high-speed rail projects in other countries and who will apply that experience to delivering a safe and efficient high-speed rail system for Californians. The leadership of Mehdi Morshed has been critical to getting us to this point, and I now look forward to working with Mr. van Ark to make high-speed rail in California a reality.”

Rep. Costa is considered by many to be the pioneer of California’s high-speed rail project. Costa was the original author of the high-speed rail bond that passed in California in November, 2008. The bond measure allocated $9.95 billion towards the state’s high-speed rail project. Costa is currently the co-chair of the Congressional California High-Speed Rail Caucus.