The Mercury News ran an article from the LA Times recapping much of what is already known about high-speed rail finances, but it did highlight a deceptive edit of one of the bids from a large Spanish company that seeks to build the California system. Morris Brown is well-known in HSR critical circles and he found the shenanigans by comparing two versions of the bid paperwork.
LOS ANGELES -- When a Spanish firm submitted a bid last year to help build the California bullet train, it cautioned that taxpayer money probably would be needed to keep the system operating. Having reviewed data on 111 high-speed train lines around the world, construction giant Ferrovial said, it found that all but three could not make ends meet.
Richard answered, "Actually all of them, virtually all of them, make operating profit." He defined that as being able to cover costs after the expenditure of capital to build the systems.
"Ha, OK," Patterson said.
Ha, not OK. There should have been about a half-day of intense grilling of that answer from Dan Richard. This is at the core of the challenge to compliance with Prop 1A that was foisted on the uninformed voters. At least some people are waking up.