In a unanimous vote, the High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors approved the 90-mile section stretching from Diridon Station in San Jose to Merced.
"Today’s approval represents another major milestone and brings us one step closer to delivering high-speed rail between the Silicon Valley and the Central Valley," said Brian Kelly, Authority CEO. "The Authority is poised to make the vision of high-speed rail in the Bay Area a reality."
The approval moves the project closer to being “shovel ready” once funding becomes available, officials said. Currently, construction is underway between Madera County and Bakersfield in the Central Valley. Once high-speed rail is complete between San Jose and Fresno, officials said the travel time between the two cities would be one hour, compared to three hours by car.
“Completion of this critically important high-speed rail project helps the state expand economic opportunity and affordable housing, two critical goals for all of us,” said Sam Liccardo, San Jose mayor.