Skip to comments.California's high speed rail boondoggle just won't die (Jerry Brown still wants $100 billion rail)
Posted on 05/20/2012 7:57:01 AM PDT by Qbert
The Wall Street Journal has the backstory about how Governor Jerry Brown is insisting on trying to complete the high speed rail plan despite a budget shortfall of $16 billion:
Transportation experts warn that the 500-mile bullet train from San Francisco to Los Angeles could cost more than $100 billion, though the Governor pegs the price at a mere $68 billion. The state has $12.3 billion in pocket, $9 billion from the state and $3.3 billion from the feds, but Mr. Brown hasn't a clue where he'll get the rest.
In 2008 voters approved $9 billion in bonds for construction under the pretense that the train would cost only $33 billion and be financed primarily by the federal government and private enterprise. Investors, however, won't put up any money because the rail authority's business plans are too risky. Rail companies have refused to operate the train without a revenue guarantee, which the ballot initiative prohibits.
None of which is stopping Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who is putting the squeeze on California lawmakers to appropriate $6 billion-now. "We can't wait," he says. The White House wants to get the money out the door before the election.
Polls show that the public is in favor of killing the project by a 2-1 margin. Several communities are suing to prevent the project from going forward, and even the greens are apparently opposed because Governor Brown wants to use cap and trade money to fund the train.
A project that was originally to cost $33 billion, now over $100 billion, where the state can't afford to electrify the tracks, where the state is $16 billion in the red, and there is no revenue plan that would make the train profitable.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
Sure glad Governor Scott killed the Tampa to Orlando high speed rail boondoggle.
the majority of the state gets what they deserve...they keep voting for the Marxists.
the minority are leaving in droves taking their wealth and businesses(jobs) with them....California will be the new Greece.
my own current state of NY Sucks...but it is no where near the idiocy of California.
The problem here has nothing to do with high-speed rail technology. AFter all, there re a number of places in the world where these things have been built, work just fine, and everybody loves them. But nothing major will be built in our society until a serious public reaction takes place against NIMBYism. It needs to be made uncool, like smoking.
Search the history of the George Lucas studio debacle for an illustrative case.
It’s not just NIMBY, it is the fact that trains are all government owned. Get rid of Amtrak, sell all publicly owned commuter rail in the cities to private investors, kill public employee unions. Open up rail travel to competition, or get rid of it.
Who wouldn't want the taxpayers of this once-Golden State to pay a mere 100 billion so that by 2020, someone in a hurry could pay twice (or more) as much as driving in order to save a half-hour (not counting parking, ticketing, security which would add back over an hour) to travel between the California cultural and population centers of Merced and Bakersfield?
As long as the liberals think they can convince you to give them more money, they will try.
As am I ....
In some ways the San Francisco to LA high speed rail makes sense if it was affordable....
The Tampa to Orlando high speed rail makes no sense whatever...especially at $45 dollars one way ticket to make it fiscally viable...
It's an hour trip on a good day....anybody who wants to go to Tampa from Orlando will want to go the the beach in Clearwater or St Pete so you will have to rent a car anyway....
You are all wrong, and clearly have no long-term vision; it will be a great way for people to commute inexpensively and efficiently to their new, high-paying green jobs.
Major seismic zone California.
It’s called the Browndoggle.
When the government builds a transportation system, it is never profitable. It is always subsidized by the taxpayers! The costs to build it are just the beginning of an entrenched system to bilk taxpayers for generations to come. Every transportation system run by government in California is heavily subsidized by taxpayers; look at Caltrain, SamTrans (San Mateo) and Muni (San Francisco) as examples that are more than two-thirds subsidized by taxpayers. High-speed rail will certainly be subsidized to an even greater extent than two-thirds because the fares will never be high enough to cover running costs. And it will fail because operating costs will drain the state budget at an alarming rate.