January 2024 I Will Ride Update

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Greetings I Will Riders!

We are starting the year with lots of news and site visits. Moving towards future purchase of trains, we are excited to share more about our showroom with mockups of potential train interiors. In addition, the Authority released the name of two shortlisted companies to take on the building of the high-speed rail trains. Our talented staff continue to leave their mark on the industry, with recognitions and media highlights.

High-Speed Rail Communications Leader Recognized as Woman of Year

Banner that reads, “Congratulations award recipients, Melissa Figueroa woman of the year” next to a photo of Melissa.Later today, we are excited to celebrate the Authority’s very own Melissa Figueroa, Chief of Strategic Communications, as Woman of the Year by Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Sacramento. WTS is an international organization with local chapters that missions the advancement of the transportation industry and women that lead the industry. Melissa oversees the communications branches for media, stakeholder engagement, special projects, and outreach and was appointed Chief of Strategic Communications in August of 2019. Melissa has built a female led leadership team, created the first bilingual positions within the agency and has established a DEI taskforce. Prior to her time at the Authority, Melissa established her career in public service working with various departments managing communications and outreach for California, bringing her passion of equity and opportunity to her work.

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CEO Brian Kelly On Air Talking California High-Speed Rail in 2024

Graphic with headshot of Authority CEO Brian Kelly next to two media logos, KQED and Cap Radio.This was a big month for media, a perfect time to discuss the progress of California High-Speed Rail and detail some of the major upcoming projects in 2024. On January 25, CEO Brian Kelly sat down for a conversation with Sacramento’s local NPR program, “Insight with Vicki Gonzales.” In it, Kelly answers the question, “What’s up with California’s high-speed rail?” He addresses questions about funding, the political nature of a mega project like high-speed rail and his recent announcement about stepping down after six years as CEO.

Earlier in the month on January 12, Bay Area’s NPR Station KQED interviewed CEO Kelly. The entire 10 o’clock hour on the Bay Area’s NPR station KQED and its live call-in show “Forum” was dedicated to the California high-speed rail project. Kelly walked host Mina Kim through funding and political challenges and project highlights, including the recent news of new federal grants to fund the high-speed rail project in California. A call-in segment featured several voices, including those in favor of a statewide high-speed rail system aimed at ultimately connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles in less than three hours.

KQED – Listen Now Cap Radio – Listen Now

California High-Speed Rail Hosts Station, Mockup Design Tours with Partners, Students

There are two images. The first image, on the left, is a group of people are gathered inside a design mock-up of the interior of a high-speed train car. The second image, on the right, is group of students standing in a circle around two tables with miniature design models of future high-speed rail stations.Recently, the Authority welcomed various statewide partners at the train interior mockup space to learn about the design process and station development. In addition, we also had the opportunity to meet with labor union representatives from the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California and the Associated General Contractors of California. The meetings with our partners are critical to collecting valuable feedback and key insights in the spirit of collaborative input to mitigate risk and to identify best practices as the Authority enters the next stages of train design.

In addition, the Authority hosted students from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Associated Students in Planning (ASP) and UC Berkeley’s Transportation Graduate Students Organizing Committee (TRANSOC) for a hands-on experiential learning opportunity. The students engaged in questions with planners and operational staff to gain a deeper understanding of the project’s future developments. Take a look at the fun Instagram Reel from the visit!

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2023 Economic Investment Report: Investment Impacts of First-in-the-Nation Project

The image is a graphic of a grey circle with the outline of the State of California in the background. In the foreground are three icons; the first icon is a calendar with a caption that’s reads “Over 92,000 Job-Years of Employment.” The second caption is a circle with a dollar sign that reads “$7B Labor Income.” The third graphic is a bar graph with an up arrow that reads “$18B Economic Output.” Additional graphic is a US State map with highlights of states that the California high-speed rail Program has provided economic impact. One last graphic with icons of construction workers and text that reads- “Job-years supported from July 2006 through June 2023 Over 92,000 Total Program.”Earlier this month, we released our annual economic data that highlights the impact of the project’s regional and statewide investments in the 2023 Economic Impact Report. An economic impact report analyzes and quantifies how a project, like a new business or infrastructure development, affects the economy in terms of job creation, income generation, and overall economic growth. Program expenditures have fueled economic activity in local, disadvantaged communities while providing over 12,000 employment opportunities and contracting hundreds of small firms and businesses. The project’s need for a wide range of talent and resources has spurred investments, boosting economic activity in industries such as concrete, steel, supplies, transportation, computing, and many others. From 2006 to 2023, California’s Central Valley was the beneficiary of the most significant economic impacts, receiving over $2.5 billion in labor income while generating $7.7 billion in economic output; to date the project has invested $11.1 billion statewide.

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List of Potential Suppliers of California High-Speed Rail Train Released

Electrified high-speed rail train traveling at grade during the day.Aligned with the process to purchase California High-Speed Rail trainsets, earlier this month the Authority released a list of qualified bidders for the purchase of trainsets. The shortlist includes Alstom Transportation Inc. and Siemens Mobility Inc. The Authority issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in August of 2023 as step one of a two-step purchase process for High-Speed Trainsets and Related Services. Shortlisted teams, Alstom and Siemens, will be eligible to participate in a Request for Proposals (RFP) anticipated for spring of 2024.

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ICYMI: I Will Ride Fact Friday

Image of students in front of a high-speed rail train portrait.This month we celebrated a huge accomplishment for the I Will Ride student outreach program recapping 66 student outreach events reaching more than 4,000 students statewide for the 2023 calendar year. Take a look at our Fact Friday highlights on social media on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

I Will Ride logo with a train and text that reads internships, Jobs and Scholarships.

U.S. DOT Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups

Help make the U.S. home to the safest, most efficient and convenient transportation system in the world. The Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups (STIPDG) internship program is a unique opportunity for undergraduate, graduate and law students like you to get hands-on experience in public service while learning more about transportation challenges and advancements in the U.S.

During this 10-week program, you will intern five days per week at the U.S. Department of Transportation, with the exception of some optional program opportunities such as field trips throughout the summer. Your internship placement may be at the Washington, D.C. DOT headquarters, or in one of several regional locations across the United States.

Learn more and apply

California Transportation Foundation Scholarships

The California Transportation Foundation’s (CTF) mission is to educate the future of the transportation profession through scholarships, educational programs, mentoring and internships. To learn more about the various scholarship opportunities offered by CTF check out their website below.

Learn more and apply 

COMTO National Scholarship Program

COMTO’s National Scholarship Program supports their goal of ensuring the continuing legacy of minorities in transportation. COMTO annually awards multiple national academic scholarships, ranging from $500 to $6,000 each to minority graduate and undergraduate students from across the country. Scholarship awardees are represented in all academic backgrounds and are pursuing various careers in the transportation industry.

Learn more and apply 

Stay Connected 
 Informational flyer for student I Will Ride program. Webinars, Project Updates, Student Opportunities and Construction Tours. Photos of professionals panel, train rendering, students tabling and construction tour. Are you a student that wants to learn more about the California high-speed rail project, tour construction or join the project as a fellow or intern? Don’t miss any important updates, opportunities or notifications when you sign up for I Will Ride! Sign-Up for I Will Ride

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 info@hsr.ca.gov.