Umberg also said he, too, would step down from his post next month, and recommended that Dan Richard replace him. Umberg, however, said he will remain on the CHSRA Board of Directors. Umberg made the announcement during CHSRA’s regular Board of Directors meeting, held in Los Angeles.
In a statement, Umberg said: “With admiration, I would like to thank Mr. van Ark for his service to California and the high-speed rail project. The announcement of his resignation will resonate throughout the State. His energy, passion and dedication to this critically important project are a testament to his character and his professionalism. We are extremely lucky to have his continued counsel and advice as we move to implement high-speed rail in California. I remain grateful for his professionalism and friendship."
Van Ark’s departure and Umberg’s stepping down come even as opponents of California’s proposed 700-mile, statewide HSR system continue to question the project’s viability, and even as plans continue for construction of the system’s first phase of roughly 130 miles, in California’s Central Valley.