To build a high-speed rail system in California from San Francisco to Los Angeles just got a whole lot more expensive as a business plan was released Tuesday that gives a detailed look at the project which has now doubled in cost.
A copy of the report reviewed by The Associated Press shows the estimated cost at $98.5 billion if the route between San Francisco and Anaheim is completed in 2033. The plan assumes private investment will account for roughly 20 percent of the total cost, with much of the rest coming from additional public borrowing.
The average ticket between San Francisco and Los Angeles would cost $81 in non-adjusted dollars, with express trains completing the trip in less than three hours.
Personally, I find it stunning to me that they could promote this as a $43 billion program in 2008 to gain public approval and then come back a few years later and essentially say “oops”. Considering the economy, one would think the cost might actually have gone down.
Now the spin is this is a job creator by adding 100,000 jobs and we should be thankful that this new business plan offers transparency now that “real” information and estimates have been provided.
I am all for alternative transportation, but this does not seem very responsible to the California Tax Payer. In another four years after construction has started, will this cost balloon again to nearly $200 billion? We may never know the answer until it is too late.
While the State and special interest will continue to defend and promote this project, it may be time to finally kill the project considering the costs outweigh whatever benefits they claim it will have.
“This plan represents a new day, a new time and a new beginning” for the project, said Tom Umberg, chairman of the rail authority board.
If this is in fact a “new day”, and the Authority remains confident, then lets take a new vote with the updated information at hand and let the people decide this projects fate. Instead, they are wasting our time with phony marketing and lackluster promotions.
New Business Plan