September 22, 2020-Husin Cumber, XpressWest – Meeting via Zoom

 Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Member/Alternates Only Meeting

Virtual meeting via ZOOM


Present:   Ruthy Argumedo, Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Ken Coate, Michelle Decker, Kevin Dyerly, Louis Goodwin, Fran Inman, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Bill Lemann, Dan Little, P.T. McEwen, Darcy McNaboe, John Mirau, Vikki Ostermann, Bansree Parikh, Steve PonTell, Thomas Rice, Michael Rivera, Dan Roberts, Elizabeth Romero, Dan Schenkel, Kristine Scott, Sol Teh, Pete Van Helden, Ray Wolfe and Frank Zabaleta.

Announcements: 1) Local Measures J & K were brought to the attention of the Inland Leaders lunch last week.  The importance and impacts of these measures will again be addressed at their next meeting.  2) The statewide ballot propositions will be the topic for the member only October 13th meeting.  3)  John Holcomb has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the U. S. District Judge for the Central District of California.  His confirmation will now go to the President for final approval.

Lowell King, 1st Vice Chair presiding.

Motion by K. Scott /Second by F. Inman/Passed:  Minutes from September 15, 2020.

Ray Wolfe introduced Husin Cumber, XpressWest/Florida East Coast Industries, LLC.

XpressWest is building a privately funded high-speed passenger rail system in the existing I-15 transportation corridor linking travelers between So. California and Las Vegas.  Modeled after the highly respected and successful rail projects they have in Florida, XpressWest,  focuses on customer service where their travelers are treated like guests.

Unlike subsidized mass transit, XpressWest will set pricing to maximize revenue and strongly market their service and options.  They expect significant positive benefit with immediate results for local partners.  Ticket prices will be on par with cost of gas plus parking.  The target ticket price is $60.00 but will be based on demand with mid-week pricing less than weekends.  Schedules will also be based on demand with some special accommodations for sporting and entertainment events.  In addition to free on-board wi-fi, they will offer a wide selection of food and beverage, checked luggage, and hotel check-in services.  The zero emission train sets that travel up to 200 mph will be equipped with European Train Control System that are well established and proven to be extremely safe. Bollards will be used to provide noninvasive security to screen travelers as they walk through the stations.  The rail will be aggressively marketed in Southern California but also in Nevada to encourage visitors to the many events and attractions here in Southern California.  Once the core system is established more stations may be added.

The three planned phases are:

Las Vegas to Victor Valley:  The 170-mile alignment connecting Las Vegas, one of the largest tourist destinations in the world, with one of the largest metropolitan areas (S. California) in under 1.5 hours benefits travelers, workers, and the local community. There are 50 million one-way trips made annually between these two destinations and the high-speed rail will cut transportation time in half.  They anticipate the zero-emission rail will annually reduce some 3 million cars which equates to 100,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.  The project will have a $6 billion economic impact and create 30,000 plus construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs.  The right-of-way has been secured and will be financed with $4.2 billion of private activity bonds.  This phase is on track for groundbreaking later this year.

Victor Valley to Rancho Cucamonga- The 50-mile alignment connecting Victor Valley with the multi-modal transportation hub in Rancho Cucamonga creates a full rail connection from downtown L.A.’s Union Station (via Metrolink) and Las Vegas.  The rail provides a safe alternative to the highly congested traffic on the Cajon Pass and will reduce vehicle miles traveled by 65 million over 10 years.  Additionally, completion will connect affordable housing options to L.A. and greatly shorten the commute for others to L.A. employment centers.  The Rancho extension will operate service consistent with that of Las Vegas and Victor Valley.  This phase will create some 10,000 jobs during the construction phase and 100 plus permanent jobs once operational.  Working with the City of Rancho Cucamonga, Metrolink and The Boring Company, they are designing the station master plan to be a new multimodal transit hub.  The Metrolink tracks will be unchanged but the high-speed tracks will be elevated by 30’.  Both east and west bound Metrolink tracks will be accessible at the Cucamonga station as will the proposed tunnel to Ontario International Airport.  Groundbreaking is hoped to be in the 2nd half of 2023 following the receipt of environmental approval.

Victor Valley to Palmdale- XpressWest is actively working with High Desert Corridor and City of Palmdale on the initial planning for this 50-mile connection.  This alignment connecting XpressWest high speed rail to the Palmdale transportation center via the High Desert Corridor paves the way for ideal, one-seat high-speed rail trip between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

A Q & A period followed.

A majority of the members present voted to approve Christie Cardenas as the Alternate representative for Health Net, LLC.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 a.m.