California High-Speed Rail Authority

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High-Speed Rail Authority
CAHSRA Logo.svg
Agency overview
FormedSeptember 24, 1996 (1996-09-24)
Headquarters770 L Street, Suite 620, Sacramento, CA 95814
Agency executives
  • Brian P. Kelly, Chief Executive Officer
  • Dan Richard, Chairperson
Parent agencyTransportation Agency

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) is a California state agency established pursuant to the California High-Speed Rail Act[1] to develop and implement high-speed intercity rail service, such as the California High-Speed Rail project.


The Authority is composed of nine members. Five members are appointed by the Governor, two members plus one ex officio are appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, and two members plus one ex officio are appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.[2] Currently this includes:[3]

Member Appointed Replaced
Dan Richard, chairperson August 23, 2011 by Governor Brown; re-appointed on January 9, 2015 by Governor Brown
Tom Richards, vice chairperson December 20, 2010 by Governor Schwarzenegger
Ernest Camacho March 21, 2017 by the Senate Rules Committee Lou Correa[4]
Daniel Curtin May 15, 2015 by Speaker Atkins Patrick Henning, Sr.[5]
Bonnie Lowenthal January 27, 2016 by Speaker Atkins Thea Selby[6]
Nancy Miller August 25, 2017 by Governor Brown
Lorraine Paskett January 27, 2016 by the Senate Rules Committee Jim Hartnett[7]
Michael Rossi August 24, 2011 by Governor Brown
Lynn Schenk November 11, 2003 by Governor Davis; re-appointed on January 2, 2013 by Governor Brown
Joaquin Arambula, ex officio May 12, 2017 by Speaker Rendon
Jim Beall, ex officio March 17, 2017 by the Senate Committee on Rules


As noted in James Fallows' third article (in 2014) in his series on California's High-Speed Rail project, the Authority was seen as not very effective and possibly even mis-managing the project. Dan Richard, the new Authority chair appointed by Gov. Brown, made this comment for inclusion in his article concerning this charge:

When Jerry Brown came in, the HSR program was rife with problems. The organization was at half-strength, the board was dysfunctional, there was a high level of criticism from independent groups evaluating ridership and plans.
All of that has turned around. The board is highly cohesive and professional. The staff is now at full strength with a highly capable day-to-day CEO, top flight engineering, risk management and program leadership. We have the most sophisticated risk management program likely to be found in any public infrastructure program. Our cost data and risk assessments are now presented publicly on a regular basis at our board meetings and are in accessible form on our website. Our CEO put in excellent local project leaders and former critics have lauded the openness and responsiveness of that team.
Here's a quote from the Independent Peer Review Group, established by the California Legislature. The PRG was highly critical of past plans. No more:
"We believe that the Authority has made manifest progress in all areas of planning and management since the Revised 2012 Business Plan. This assessment applies to risk management, demand forecasting, operating and maintenance (O&M) cost modeling and the analysis of the impact of HSR on California's greenhouse gas emissions."[8]


  1. ^ S.B. 1420, Chapter 796 of the California Statutes of 1996
  2. ^ California Public Utilities Code § 185020
  3. ^ "Board of Directors".
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "California High-Speed Rail No. 3: Let's Hear From the Chairman". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2016-01-14.

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