Board Approves Largest Bond Request in IBank History — $3.25 Billion for High-Speed Rail Project in Southern California’s San Bernardino County

SACRAMENTO (Oct. 23, 2019) – The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) Board approved the largest bond request in its history today. A request to issue tax-exempt fixed rate revenue bonds in the amount not to exceed $3,250,000,000 for the benefit of Desert Xpress Enterprises for an eligible high-speed rail project in the County of San Bernardino was approved at today’s Board meeting.

The high-speed rail will allow passengers to travel from Southern California to Las Vegas. More than 130 miles of the rail line will be within California and is projecting to remove an estimated 4.5 million car trips annually, which could eliminate 645 million pounds of carbon emission from the I-15 corridor. The project is expected to create more than 15,750 construction jobs as well as employ more than 400 people once the rail system is operational.

“This is an exciting day not just because it’s the largest bond request IBank has ever received and approved, but also because of what having high speed rail can do for Southern California,” Acting Executive Director Nancee Robles said. “The IBank team and all of the other entities involved were extremely dedicated to seeing this project through. We’re proud to be involved in helping to bring this major infrastructure project to San Bernardino County and the surrounding area.”

Lenny Mendonca, the IBank Chairman of the Board, is the Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and joined the rest of the Board is voting to approve the high speed rail bond.

“Moving toward clean, green electrified high speed rail is the future,” Mendonca said. “Yesterday’s vote is evidence of our state’s commitment to making this happen in California. We look forward to continuing to work with DesertXpress as they move towards their goal of project development to ensure that its XpressWest program and California High-Speed Rail can work cohesively.”

About the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank: IBank was created in 1994 to finance public infrastructure and private development that promote a healthy climate for jobs, contribute to a strong economy and improve the quality of life in California communities. IBank is located within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and is governed by a five-member Board of Directors. IBank has broad authority to issue tax-exempt and taxable revenue bonds, provide financing to public agencies, provide credit enhancements, acquire or lease facilities, leverage State and Federal funds and provide loan guarantees and other credit enhancements to small businesses. Find more information at www.ibank.ca.gov.