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September 18, 2019

Comments

Joe

Here's an idea. Let's call time-out on the albatross of LA to SF high-cost rail and let a short line with a much easier route go first:

California approves $3.2 billion bond for Virgin’s $4.8 billion bullet train to Las Vegas
(Source: Construction Dive, November 6, 2019)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) has authorized a $3.2 billion tax-exempt, fixed-rate revenue bond issuance to help DesertXpress Enterprises LLC, an affiliate of Virgin Trains USA, build a high-speed train from Victorville, California, to Las Vegas. The new XpressWest service, at speeds of up to 180 miles per hour, will take about 90 minutes one way.

Peter Garrison

Wouldn’t it be great if Sacramento did this?
Such common sense.

Joe

To the editor (of the LA Times): Steve Lopez’s column on the bullet train is a devastating assessment of California’s profoundly idiotic direct democracy experiment. Using the initiative process to drive public policy and circumvent the Legislature is really offensive to the ideal of republican governance.

Proposition 1A, the 2008 initiative that allocated funds for the rail project, was poorly drafted, crammed with utterly unrealistic restrictions for a large construction project, utterly unrealistic cost projections (really, flat-out lies), and tied to a federal funding spigot with unrealistic deadlines that may require funds to be returned.

Asking the average voter with very limited economic, financial and legal knowledge of large-scale projects to weigh in on something like this is a recipe for failure. Abolishing the initiative system at the statewide level is a timid first step to restoring republican values to our government.

David Pohlod, Oak Park
----------------
Can I get an Amen?

Peter Garrison

Talked to one of the main contractors down there near Fresno and he said this project is a mess; regulations, finger-pointing, leaderless- a fantastically expensive waste of our money.

So- big amen.

Joe

Here we do again, again. I'll just pluck a few excerpts out of the Chron article:

The cost of running high-speed trains between San Francisco and Los Angeles has grown — again — to $80 billion, a sum the state is yet to muster for a project that continues to be mired in politics and doubt.

The business plan maintains that the new $80 billion price tag for the rail system, up from $77 billion in the past business plan released two years ago and double the original estimate, is still a good deal considering the highway and air traffic it would alleviate. The new cost estimate rose because of inflation, according to the business plan.

According to the plan, California would need to build 4,200 miles of highway lanes and add 91 airport gates to match the carrying capacity of the entire line. (HA-- "capacity" not expect ridership. Nice sleight of hand).

“The project is falling apart, and the costs continue to climb,” said Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno. “The authority continues to hope billions will magically appear, while the fight to siphon off Central Valley dollars for Southern California rages on. It’s become a pathetic fight for the scraps of a failing project.”

https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Cost-of-California-s-high-speed-rail-rises-but-15052415.php

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