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‘What Do I Tell People in Los Angeles?’: Lawmaker Questions Bullet Train’s Benefits to SoCal at Hearing

Construction workers at a viaduct being built to extend over State Route 99 and North and Cedar Avenues in Fresno County in this undated photo. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Construction workers at a viaduct being built to extend over State Route 99 and North and Cedar Avenues in Fresno County in this undated photo. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Southern California Democrats have said few, if any, critical words about the state rail authority’s decision in 2016 to drop Los Angeles as the starting point of the first segment of the statewide bullet train.

Rail officials announced at the time that they would instead invest the vast majority of available money to begin building from the Central Valley to the Bay Area.

Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) broached the topic at a House rail subcommittee hearing on Thursday, asking state rail officials and other witnesses how he can justify the project to his constituents.

“What do I tell people in Los Angeles,” said Lowenthal, the former chairman of the state Senate transportation committee. “We talk about the [rail’s benefits] to Silicon Valley and the Central Valley, but … when are we going to see things going on in Los Angeles? We are the population center.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com