California Wastes Taxpayer Dollars, AGAIN
Article from Reason by Brian Doherty.
In news that should come as no surprise to students of government infrastructure boondoggles, this week the California High Speed Rail Authority admits that California’s long-planned bullet train system will cost $77.3 billion, which is $13 billion more than they thought it would a couple of years ago. Proving that with government work you can have it neither cheap nor fast, the earliest any major part of the system might be fully operational is now 2029, not 2024, with the major San Francisco to Anaheim line not on target til 2033.
As the Los Angeles Times reports, “Roy Hill, one of the senior consultants advising the state, told the rail authority board, ‘The worst-case scenario has happened'” in terms of costs to build through California’s central valley. As those following all that past reporting at Reason already knew, “the warning signs of uncontrolled cost growth had already started mounting…even though until this year the rail authority has vehemently denied that it was facing a problem.”
Turns out grabbing property and moving existing infrastructure to make way for the bullet train is really difficult and expensive. How it will be paid for is also a problem, as this latest “disclosure about the higher costs comes nearly a decade after voters approved a $9-billion bond to build a bullet train system. The original idea was that the federal government would pay about a third of what was then an estimated $33-billion project, with private investors covering another third.”
Read the entire article at Reason.