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Jeff Morales

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NEWS
April 24, 2000 | JULIE TAMAKI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Jeff Morales is about to trade in 289 miles of train tracks for 15,000 miles of California highway. Plucked by Gov. Gray Davis from a top post at the Chicago Transit Authority, where he spent two years helping to manage that city's system of elevated trains, buses and subways, Morales is set to become the next director of California's troubled Department of Transportation.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
Regularly scheduled service on California's bullet train system will not meet anticipated trip times of two hours and 40 minutes between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and are likely to take nearly a half-hour longer, a state Senate committee was told Thursday. The faster trips were held out to voters in 2008 when they approved $9 billion in borrowing to help pay for the project. Since then, a series of political compromises and planning changes designed to keep the $68-billion line moving ahead have created slower track zones in urban areas.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
Regularly scheduled service on California's bullet train system will not meet anticipated trip times of two hours and 40 minutes between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and are likely to take nearly a half-hour longer, a state Senate committee was told Thursday. The faster trips were held out to voters in 2008 when they approved $9 billion in borrowing to help pay for the project. Since then, a series of political compromises and planning changes designed to keep the $68-billion line moving ahead have created slower track zones in urban areas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
California bullet train officials have been granted an extra three months to come up with funding to start meeting their obligations under a grant for the project, federal officials said Friday. The deal was struck under a new state funding contribution plan in which the state would begin spending its own money starting July 1 rather than April 1. The additional time would presumably allow the Legislature to act on Gov. Jerry Brown's request for $250 million for the project, allocated from the state's fees on greenhouse gas emissions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
California bullet train officials have been granted an extra three months to come up with funding to start meeting their obligations under a grant for the project, federal officials said Friday. The deal was struck under a new state funding contribution plan in which the state would begin spending its own money starting July 1 rather than April 1. The additional time would presumably allow the Legislature to act on Gov. Jerry Brown's request for $250 million for the project, allocated from the state's fees on greenhouse gas emissions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
The top candidate to build the first 29 miles of California's bullet train in the Central Valley bid just under $1 billion, below the state's estimates of the cost, high-speed rail officials announced Friday. The California High Speed Rail Authority said the Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons joint venture submitted a bid of about $985 million and was ranked first out of five competitors. The team offered the “apparent best value” based on price and technical proposals, officials said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
The California bullet train agency on Thursday defended its bidding criteria for selecting the winner for its first construction contract, saying that the process held down prices and was handled properly. The California High-Speed Rail Authority has come under fire from critics who assert changes to the bidding criteria could jeopardize the quality of the project. The authority tentatively chose a team led by Sylmar-based Tutor Perini to build a 29-mile segment of track through Fresno even though it had the lowest technical score.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
Construction of California's high-speed rail network is supposed to start in just six months, but the state hasn't acquired a single acre along the route and faces what officials are calling a challenging schedule to assemble hundreds of parcels needed in the Central Valley. The complexity of getting federal, state and local regulatory approvals for the massive $68-billion project has already pushed back the start of construction to July from late last year. Even with that additional time, however, the state is facing a risk of not having the property to start major construction work near Fresno as now planned.
NEWS
April 15, 2000 | DAN MORAIN and MEGAN GARVEY, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
As he prepared to press a plan to significantly expand freeway and mass transit spending in California, Gov. Gray Davis sacked the embattled head of Caltrans late Friday, replacing him with a top official from the Chicago Transit Authority. Jeff Morales, executive vice president of the Chicago agency, will replace Department of Transportation Director Jose Medina, who gave up a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to take the administration post in December 1998.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
California's bullet train agency won a key legal ruling Thursday, obtaining an exemption from regulatory oversight by the federal Surface Transportation Board for construction of the first segment of the rail system that would run 220 mph trains from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The ruling is among several barriers it has successfully navigated in the long-sought start of construction, though the state still must secure a deal with powerful freight railroads, obtain a key permit from the Army Corps of Engineers and prevail in a lawsuit that alleges the rail plan violates a 2008 voter-approved bond measure.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
Construction costs and revenue estimates for the California bullet train are headed downward while operating costs and ridership for the proposed statewide system are expected to increase above earlier forecasts, according to the project's latest business plan unveiled Friday. The draft plan summarizes the work of the California High-Speed Rail Authority during the past two years, contains revisions of ridership and cost estimates made in the 2012 business plan and describes the project's future goals, including the possibility of attracting private sector partners.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 8, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian and Melanie Mason
California bullet train officials argued in a Sacramento courtroom Friday that they can legally tap federal money to start construction without relying on state funds now at issue in a lawsuit. Property owners and government officials in Kings County - where some of the first sections of track are to be placed - filed the suit, claiming that because rail officials don't know how they will pay for the entire $31-billion operating segment, they are violating restrictions established by voters in 2008.
OPINION
September 11, 2013 | By Lisa Schweitzer
Over the last few weeks, the California High-Speed Rail Authority both lost and won fairly significant battles. It lost when a Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled that its proposed funding plan violated the voter-approved law, Proposition 1A, that created the agency. The judge has set a hearing to give the state a chance to show that it can comply with the law and environmental reviews. The state scored a victory when it was decided that the Federal Surface Transportation Board has jurisdiction and would subject the project to federal environmental review rather than California's version.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
California's bullet train agency won a key legal ruling Thursday, obtaining an exemption from regulatory oversight by the federal Surface Transportation Board for construction of the first segment of the rail system that would run 220 mph trains from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The ruling is among several barriers it has successfully navigated in the long-sought start of construction, though the state still must secure a deal with powerful freight railroads, obtain a key permit from the Army Corps of Engineers and prevail in a lawsuit that alleges the rail plan violates a 2008 voter-approved bond measure.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
The California bullet train agency on Thursday defended its bidding criteria for selecting the winner for its first construction contract, saying that the process held down prices and was handled properly. The California High-Speed Rail Authority has come under fire from critics who assert changes to the bidding criteria could jeopardize the quality of the project. The authority tentatively chose a team led by Sylmar-based Tutor Perini to build a 29-mile segment of track through Fresno even though it had the lowest technical score.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 2013 | By Dan Weikel
The top candidate to build the first 29 miles of California's bullet train in the Central Valley bid just under $1 billion, below the state's estimates of the cost, high-speed rail officials announced Friday. The California High Speed Rail Authority said the Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons joint venture submitted a bid of about $985 million and was ranked first out of five competitors. The team offered the “apparent best value” based on price and technical proposals, officials said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 2013 | By Dan Weikel and Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
The top candidate to build the first 29 miles of California's bullet train in the Central Valley bid just under $1 billion, below the state estimate of the cost, project officials announced Friday. The California High-Speed Rail Authority said Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons, a joint venture of U.S. firms, submitted a bid of about $985 million and was ranked first out of five competitors. The team offered the "apparent best value" based on price and technical proposals, evaluators said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
Construction costs and revenue estimates for the California bullet train are headed downward while operating costs and ridership for the proposed statewide system are expected to increase above earlier forecasts, according to the project's latest business plan unveiled Friday. The draft plan summarizes the work of the California High-Speed Rail Authority during the past two years, contains revisions of ridership and cost estimates made in the 2012 business plan and describes the project's future goals, including the possibility of attracting private sector partners.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 12, 2013 | By Dan Weikel and Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
The top candidate to build the first 29 miles of California's bullet train in the Central Valley bid just under $1 billion, below the state estimate of the cost, project officials announced Friday. The California High-Speed Rail Authority said Tutor Perini/Zachry/Parsons, a joint venture of U.S. firms, submitted a bid of about $985 million and was ranked first out of five competitors. The team offered the "apparent best value" based on price and technical proposals, evaluators said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2013 | By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
Construction of California's high-speed rail network is supposed to start in just six months, but the state hasn't acquired a single acre along the route and faces what officials are calling a challenging schedule to assemble hundreds of parcels needed in the Central Valley. The complexity of getting federal, state and local regulatory approvals for the massive $68-billion project has already pushed back the start of construction to July from late last year. Even with that additional time, however, the state is facing a risk of not having the property to start major construction work near Fresno as now planned.
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