Doing something right for once - California

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UPDATE below

From the San Francisco ABC affiliate:

Gov. Newsom ending high-speed rail project between SF, LA
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday he's abandoning a plan to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, a project with an estimated cost that has ballooned to $77 billion.

"Let's be real," Newsom said in his first State of the State address. "The current project, as planned, would cost too much and respectfully take too long. There's been too little oversight and not enough transparency."

The idea long championed by Newsom's predecessor, Jerry Brown, is years behind schedule. The latest estimate for completion is 2033.

Great news - it costs way too much, it will never get enough riders to pay for its operation and demographics shift - you can re-route an airplane or a bus, not so easy with train tracks. Glad to see a well reasoned decision coming out of the California political machine.

UPDATE: Even the guy who agitated for it is now against it - from Reason:

The Politician Behind California High Speed Rail Now Says It's 'Almost a Crime'
High-speed rail lines began popping up in Europe and Asia in the early 1980s. Passengers were exhilarated by the futuristic trains rocketing between cities on glass-smooth rails at upwards of 200 miles per hour.

With high-profile roll-outs in France and Japan, bullet train mania was underway. And then reality set in.

"The costs of building such projects usually vastly outweigh the benefits," says Baruch Feigenbaum, assistant director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation, the 501(c)(3) that publishes this website. "Rail is more of a nineteenth century technology [and] we don't have to go through these headaches and cost overruns to build a future transportation system."

Supporters, who claim that most high speed rail systems operate at a profit, use accounting tricks like leaving out construction costs and indirect subsidies. If you tabulate the full costs, only two systems in the world operate at a profit, and one breaks even.

But politicians can't resist the ribbon cutting ceremonies and imagery of sleek trains hurtling through the lush countryside. So the projects keep coming.

California's high speed rail line was sold to voters on the bold promise that it will someday whisk passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in under three hours. Nine years later, the project has turned into such a disaster that its biggest political champion is now suing to stop it.

More at the site - a long read but a good one.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on February 12, 2019 2:41 PM.

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