Does California need a bullet train zooming from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under 3 hours? Does San Francisco need a new 1.7-mile extension of Muni’s T Third Line? The two projects became entangled this week, San Francisco Chronicle reports, with key votes looming on both.

In a move some see as an attempt to round up badly needed “yes” votes for the project, Gov. Jerry Brown and state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, are insisting on an “all or nothing” vote on both the $68 billion rail line and millions of dollars for local “connectivity” projects. In the Bay Area, those connections include:

— $140 million for new BART cars.

— $105 million to modernize Caltrain.

— $61 million for San Francisco’s Central Subway.

— $46.5 million to improve the tracks on the Capital Corridor commute line between Oakland and San Jose.

That’s not the only obstacle on the tracks for the central subway. An amendment that passed in the US House of Representatives would strip the project of federal funding, the San Francisco Examiner reports. But Muni is chugging ahead with the project, hoping the US Senate will vote against the amendment.

Votes Approach for High-Speed Rail and SF’s Central Subway 2 July,2012Laird Harrison

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