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March 08, 2023



Oh dear. Does he really mean "all available options"?

“While this news is difficult, the (Newsom) administration continues to review all available options, including ongoing efforts to receive additional federal dollars,” said Daniel Lopez, the governor’s deputy communications director.

And some guy named Marc Joffe from the Cato Institute hits the head of the nail:

We already know that California high-speed rail is not a great climate change solution given its reduced (but still exaggerated) ridership projection. Further, the extended timeline for the implementation of full Phase 1 service likely means the project won’t be fully running until after California has banned the sale of new gasoline-powered cars.

Nor is it clear that intercity congestion in California will increase much from recent levels. Population in both Southern California and the Bay Area stagnated before the pandemic-driven decline. A Caltrans economic forecast shows the state’s population rising very slowly in the 2020s and then falling again in the late 2030s, when the full HSR line may be finished.

The Caltrans projection, which is likely to be revised downward later this year, currently shows state population peaking at 40.5 million. This is a far cry from the 60 million Californians forecasters expected we would eventually see back in 2007.

Finally, because many in-person meetings are being replaced with online interactions, the amount of business travel required at any given population level has been permanently reduced.

Jennifer Pfaff

Between the legislation to facilitate a floating Swimming Pool in S.F., and this latest piece of HSR propaganda, you really have to wonder...

High-Speed Rail Investments Continue to Lift California Economy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Investments in California’s first-in-the-nation high-speed rail project are pumping billions of dollars into California’s economy and contributing to positive economic benefits across the state, according to the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s latest 2022 Economic Analysis Report.

“High-speed rail creates jobs and generates income for Californians while paving the way for the state’s future transportation,” said Authority CFO Brian Annis. “We look forward to our continued partnership with the federal government and our local partners as we build this transformative project for California.”

Last month, the Authority celebrated a historic milestone, announcing the creation of more than 10,000 construction jobs since the start of high-speed rail construction. Most of these jobs have gone to Central Valley residents and men and women from disadvantaged communities.

“This project is not only reconnecting the Central Valley to the rest of the state, but it is improving the economic prosperity of our region,” said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer. “Creating good-paying jobs gives our residents the opportunity to send their kids to college, buy homes and continue to invest in their hometown. High-speed rail will transform the Valley and California and will be a model for the country.”

These jobs are the result of the project’s investment of more than $9.8 billion since 2006 in its planning and construction. More than one of every two of these dollars have been invested in California’s disadvantaged communities, driving economic activity in these areas.

The Authority estimates a total of 80,000 job-years have resulted from the project so far, causing $6 billion in total direct labor income earned by workers on the project, and $16 billion in total economic activity.

Completing Merced to Bakersfield would result in a total of 325,000 job-years of employment and a total economic activity of $65.1 billion. Job-years are defined as the equivalent number of one-year-long, full-time jobs supported by the project. For example, if one full-time job is supported for two years, it represents two job-years.

The Authority estimates completing the initial Merced to Bakersfield operating segment would result in a total of 325,000 job-years of employment and total economic activity of $65.1 billion.

As of December 2022, more than 760 certified small businesses throughout the state are also building high-speed rail. To date the Authority has paid more than $1.3 billion to certified Small Businesses, Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises in California for their work.

The Authority has begun work to extend the 119 miles under construction to 171 miles of future electrified high-speed rail from Merced to Bakersfield. The project has more than 30 active construction sites in California’s Central Valley, with the Authority having environmentally cleared 422 miles of the high-speed rail program from the Bay Area to the Los Angeles Basin.

The Authority’s economic impact analysis is updated annually and reflects data as of June 2022.

An updated webpage featuring the latest 2022 economic impact analysis can be found here. A related fact sheet can be found here and information on project construction progress can be found at: www.buildhsr.com

The following link contains recent video, animations, photography, press center resources and latest renderings: https://hsra.app.box.com/s/vyvjv9hckwl1dk603ju15u07fdfir2q8

These files are all available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

You can find this news release online here https://hsr.ca.gov/2023/03/16/news-release-high-speed-rail-investments-continue-to-lift-california-economy/.

Una versión en español del comunicado de prensa está disponible en línea aquí https://hsr.ca.gov/es/2023/03/16/news-release-high-speed-rail-investments-continue-to-lift-california-economy/.



And the spiral continues. From the California Policy Center:

And, of course, no list of state budget ineptitude would be complete without the ultimate example of government waste — the state’s disastrous high-speed rail project. Each new cost estimate paints a worse picture than the last. Updated cost ranges include up to $33 billion for the Merced-to-Bakersfield segment and as much as $127.9 billion for the whole track from San Francisco to Anaheim.
At this point you would have to set the over/under on the whole project somewhere near $300 billion.

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