Evelyn Lee

California’s High Speed Rail Plans Advance Despite Tripling in Cost

by , 11/28/11
filed under: Green Transportation

Inhabitat, Inhabitat LA, Inhabitat SF, Alternative Transportation, Public Transportation, California High Speed Rail, California Bullet Train, California Railway, California Infrastructure Project, Infrastructure Project, Large Transportation Project, Transportation Project, Governor, Jerry Brown

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.

Inhabitat, Inhabitat LA, Inhabitat SF, Alternative Transportation, Public Transportation, California High Speed Rail, California Bullet Train, California Railway, California Infrastructure Project, Infrastructure Project, Large Transportation Project, Transportation Project, Governor, Jerry Brown

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.

+ California High Speed Rail Authority

Via The New York Times

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4 Comments

  1. caeman December 20, 2011 at 11:14 am

    High profit? If New York and Chicago, with the largest train riderships in the nation, cannot turn a profit, what odds do a 520-mile line of high-speed train have?

    This train system will never turn a profit. Maintenance costs will 10x the cost of the system.

    For them to turn a profit, the ticket prices will have to be so high, that only the rich will be able to afford to ride it.

  2. sammael December 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    What people like calfan don’t think about is that this is “investment”, long term, high profit investment. Its not a get-rich-quick scheme for Cali, its a get-rich-big scheme.
    this project creates a cheap, high turnover transport that competes with personal air transport, and trucks for cargo.
    what trainline like this does (as evident in france, germany, japan) is raise property prices. By a lot, and KEEPS raising them.
    It also expands viable area for company headquarters for certain kind of research companies that need to be quickly connected, but also away from central population centers for security.
    Now add to that that trains like this tend to be pretty profitable, and get more profitable as population rises along the line. (Acela Express having over 440 million in revenue a year)
    in long term california will make money on this in tax revenues, probably by 2060ies, but more than that project like that has both short term benefits with building jobs and materiel production, and long term benefits of expanding high economic area.
    It also dips into profits of oil, air transport, truck network and short sighted land developers, so there will always be huge propaganda against it.

  3. brooklyn2189 November 28, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Investing in our future is never a waste.

  4. calfan November 28, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    that’s only $188,461,538 per mile. What a deal?

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