"Unfortunately, like many other companies and organizations around the world, we have been forced to make hard decisions in an effort to make the best use of our current funding, and the result has been the layoff of approximately 28 employees,” CEO Carlos Aguilar said in a statement. “Our core team of experts and planners remain actively engaged and prepared to move this project forward when we have our permits and the financial markets have stabilized.”
Aguilar said the project—a bullet train connecting Houston to Dallas—would create more than 17,000 jobs during construction once it officially breaks ground.
With project partners spread across the globe, officials said further consequences of the coronavirus are still yet to be determined.
"Our engineering partner is in Italy, our operations partner is in Spain and our technology provider is in Japan,” Aguilar said. “Our financial partners are in those countries, as well as here in the United States...We are already implementing work from home and other measures to deal with the crisis, but still do not know what other impacts this will have.”
Texas Central officials continue to work with federal and state agencies, including the Federal Railroad Administration, to receive final approvals before starting construction. Aguilar said he anticipates having those permits finalized by July 31.
“From an execution standpoint, the project is shovel-ready. Once we receive our permit approval, our ability to begin construction will be contingent upon financial entities in the United States, Europe and Japan, all of which are dealing with urgent priorities generated by COVID-19, completing their due diligence process," Aguilar said.
For more information about the project, visit www.texascentral.com.