Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill today that will fund the initial leg of construction for the nation’s first truly high-speed railway. The line, which will eventually connect Los Angeles to San Francisco, is one part of a transportation law that was barely approved by California State Senate. In this preliminary stage, $8 billion in state and federal funds will go towards building the first 130 miles of the 520-mile track.
On the upside: The California High Speed Rail Authority (yes, we have one of those) is projecting that the railway will create upwards of 100,000 construction jobs. Also, this thing is going to be really fast–we’re talking somewhere around 220-mph. Once it’s completed in 2033, you’ll be able to get to San Francisco in just under three hours and to San Diego in 80 minutes.
On the downside: The project has already exceeded a preexisting budget: a plan approved by voters in 2008 initially slotted $40 billion for the railway, but current estimations are setting the price tag at $70 billion.