California’s plans for high-speed rail are surging ahead in spite of national controversy over the cost of the project. A report from the state filed earlier this month found that the completed cost of the train would be three times more than originally anticipated – a total of $98 billion for a project that will not be fully finished until the year 2033. The 520-mile anticipated length of track would also pass through communities and farmland while cutting a six-hour drive down to 2 hours and 38 minutes of travel time. The Washington Post has cried “somebody please stop this train,” and local Republicans are calling it a waste, however the Golden State continues to blaze the way for the bullet train.
Governor Jerry Brown supports the train (even though he’ll be well into his 100’s should he live to see the project completed), and he is backed by California speaker of the State Assembly John A. Perez, who notes “There never is a right time to do it. The reality is the longer you wait, the more it will cost you.” The California High-Speed Rail Authority estimates that the project will create 100,000 jobs, and it is argued that the state will inevitably have to spend money expanding its transportation system with the estimated 25 million in population growth over the course of the next 20 years.
The main problem is that there is actually no plan on how to finance the project once bond and federal money is exhausted. Will California ever see the full fruition of its ambitious gamble with the bullet train? Apparently only time will tell.