December 2023 I Will Ride Update

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Hello I Will Riders,

Thank you for a great year full of excitement and participation. With over 60 student events, it was a busy year. Wrapping up the year with a federal grant of almost $3.1 billion, the Authority has a busy year ahead with train procurement, station planning, more construction and continued student outreach!

California High-Speed Rail Receives $3.1 Federal Billion Grant

High-speed rail sign above President Biden speaking at a podium. Photo of President Biden standing next to two people in construction vests. Earlier this month, the California High-Speed Rail Authority received $3.1 billion from the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail federal grant program. This huge investment from the federal government came from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). These funds will go to the design and procurement of six electric trainsets, design and construction of the Fresno Station, right-of-way acquisition for the Merced and Bakersfield extensions and includes track and systems for the Merced to Bakersfield initial operating segment. The mega project has created over 12,000 jobs so far, largely supporting the Central Valley. The progress of California high-speed rail creates a great boost to the California and U.S. economy. The Authority is leading the country in building the nation’s first electrified high-speed passenger rail line which will connect San Francisco to Los Angeles and provide a safer, cleaner way to travel. The electric trainsets will be zero emissions and powered by 100% renewable energy. The project is making rail travel a sustainable solution to lowering emissions and improving quality of life.

*Photos courtesy of White House X account.

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2023 Student Outreach – Another Memorable Year at High-Speed Rail

Two images of past student events. Photo on the left is a group of students standing in front of a high-speed rail mural and photo on the right is a woman taking a selfie while on a construction site.In another great year for student outreach, the Authority was proud to participate in over 60 student events reaching approximately 3,500 students throughout California and beyond. There was no group too small or far as our student outreach reached students in Central, Coastal, Northern and Southern California. At the start of the year, the Authority was recognized by Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) Sacramento Chapter with the Rosa Parks Leadership Diversity Award for our student outreach efforts, and the work continued through the year. The role of I Will Ride is to connect students to the nation’s first electrified high-speed rail train system capable of speeds of 220mph. The Authority takes a very intentional approach of reaching under resourced and underrepresented groups in the transportation and rail industry to share about career opportunities. The Authority was proud to host construction tours, regional alignment tours, capstone projects, classroom presentations, club presentations, outreach tables, webinars, student activity books, coloring pages and monthly I Will Ride updates.

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Future California Leaders Test High-Speed Rail Train Interiors

Two images of students in a white mockup train car. Students in one image sit on mock-up seating space while students in the other photo stand and sit around a child activity train car. The Executive Fellowship Program at Sacramento State (Sac State) participated in user testing of California high-speed rail’s preliminary interior train mockups on December 1, 2023. Part of Sac State’s Center for California Studies’ Capital Fellows Program, the Executive Fellowship Program lasts 10 months and places fellows with state agencies while they take two courses in California public policy analysis and administration. With the support of Authority and Deutsche Bahn staff, fellows got to interact with walls of potential materials and color schemes for the train interior and the life-sized white mockups of different train seating options and the train family car. The train mockups featured two and three seat configurations along with first-class seating, cocoon seating, and family space to accommodate children and their families, including a fun slide that was also popular with fellows.

Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley High-School Student Construction Tour

Students working on an interactive activity designing the interior of a high-speed rail train and another picture with students in a group standing on a high-speed rail viaduct structure.  Internships, Jobs and Scholarships Juniors and seniors from four Southern California high schools toured two California high-speed rail project sites in Fresno on Friday, Dec. 8. The schools, Azusa, Charter Oak, Duarte, and Monrovia High Schools are part of the K12 Foothill Consortium, which represents their districts’ Career Technical Education (CTE) program. Students studying engineering or computer science visited the Tulare Street Underpass construction site and the completed Cedar Viaduct. Students also participated in an activity designed by Neomind, the company designing high-speed rail’s train interiors, to engage communities in imagining the needs and wants of different riders represented by “personas”. Students concluded their visit by listening to an all-Latina panel of two project control managerial consultants and an engineering contractor, all working on Construction Package 1. The Foothill Consortium, which previously toured the Authority’s Fresno sites in February by bus, hope to return for another visit.

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

Administrative Student Assistant, California High-Speed Rail Authority (Fresno, CA)

Under close supervision, and in a learner capacity, by the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s (Authority) Information Officer II, or designated representative of the Authority, the Student Assistant (SA) will support the Stakeholder Management and Communication team by assisting with the execution of Authority events, drafting public outreach presentations and materials, and attending and monitoring public meetings. The SA will also assist with services related to the Business Administration Unit by performing supply inventory analysis, front desk coverage, and receiving and cataloging goods and supplies.

Learn more and apply

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.

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation, this program is a critical part of the agency’s employee recruitment efforts. Build your network, develop skills and learn about open positions. And if you love your internship experience, consider applying at to pursue a career. 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 

Creating a Path to Success (CAPS) Leadership Academy

CAPS is a six-month leadership training program for college students. CAPS aims to empower and train the next generation of successful Hispanic civic and business leaders through training, network-building, and ongoing engagement with leaders in business development. Students do not have to have any specific area of focus in school, and students of all academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Learn more and apply 

WTS San Francisco Scholarship

WTS’s mission is to build the transportation industry by advancing women worldwide. WTS understands that transportation is far more than people and goods moving from one place to another. It drives growth and an integral part of communities throughout the world. Women’s leadership, skills, and perspectives are essential to ensuring that transportation systems of the future respond to everyone’s needs.
The San Francisco Bay Chapter and International organization encourage women to study and become leaders in transportation by offering scholarships. These are for studying transportation and related fields such as aviation, city planning, engineering, environmental science, logistics, maritime operations, political science and public policy in college and trade schools.

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 

Amtrak Scholarship

The Amtrak Scholarship Program provides academic scholarships to undergraduate and graduate college students who have an active interest in the railroad industry. This program has been established to provide support to help encourage academic achievement within railroad programs, ensuring a future in this 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

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