NEWS RELEASE: California Students Propel Nation’s First High-Speed Rail System to Award-Winning Year

February 14, 2024

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Students love high-speed rail! The California High-Speed Rail Authority took home a national honor this week for the award-winning student engagement I Will Ride program. The American Public Transit Association (APTA) recognized the program as 2023’s Best Comprehensive Marketing and Communications Educational Campaign for Workforce Development during its annual AdWheel Awards this week in New Orleans.

“California’s transit future will be built on the backbone of interregional connectivity that is the high-speed rail project. This system is for and by the next generation of mass transit riders, thousands of whom have heard directly from the Authority. I applaud I Will Ride’s work and this well-deserved AdWheel recognition.”

Paul P. Skoutelas, APTA President and CEO

The annual AdWheel Awards recognize the exceptional marketing and communications efforts of APTA’s members across the country.

I Will Ride is about connecting students to information and career opportunities,” said Authority Outreach and Student Engagement Specialist Yaqeline Castro. “With our outreach having steadily increased since the relaunch of the program in 2020, we look forward to continued engagement with the next generation of transportation professionals.”

Fast Facts about I Will Ride in 2023

  • Reached 4,479 students throughout California
  • Construction and Regional Alignment Tours
  • University Capstone Projects
  • Classroom and Club Presentations for elementary to university students
  • Outreach Tables
  • Networking Sessions
  • Webinars
  • Mentorship

Open above image for larger version.

In 2023, the program won the prestigious Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award from the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Sacramento chapter.

See examples of I Will Ride at work at Fresno State’s first annual K-12 Railroad Model Competition and a recent construction tour with high school students from the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) summer program at San Jose State University. These are just two small peeks into the Authority’s award-winning efforts to bring their futures into sharper focus.

Meanwhile, the Authority has begun work to extend the 119 miles currently under construction to 171 miles of future electrified high-speed rail from Merced to Bakersfield.

There are more than 25 active construction sites in California’s Central Valley, with the Authority having also fully environmentally cleared 422 miles of the high-speed rail program from the Bay Area to Los Angeles County.

The following link contains recent video, animations, photography, press center resources and latest renderings:

These files are all available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.


Speakers Bureau

The California High-Speed Rail Authority Speakers Bureau is managed by the Communications Office and provides informational presentations on the High-Speed Rail Program.

Request a Speaker


Kyle Simerly
916-718-5733 (c)


All fields are required.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority makes every effort to ensure the website and its contents meet mandated ADA requirements as per the California State mandated Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA standard. If you are looking for a particular document not located on the California High-Speed Rail Authority website, you may make a request for the document under the Public Records Act through the Public Records Act page. If you have any questions about the website or its contents, please contact the Authority at