California developing high-speed rail stations

Cities that expect to have passenger stations for California's proposed high-speed train system will get help from the state to plan for development around the stations.

Meeting Thursday in Sacramento, the California High-Speed Rail Authority board approved putting up as much as $200,000 per station site. The board also approved guidelines for station-area planning. The money is intended to promote connections between local transit systems as well as what planners call "transit-oriented development" to encourage greater ridership on the high-speed trains.

In the San Joaquin Valley, where the initial construction on the 800-mile system is expected to commence in 2012 or 2013, the cities of Fresno, Bakersfield and Merced all welcomed the financial help. The first construction is to begin between Fresno and Bakersfield.

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