Town Square

Report: Halt state funding for high-speed rail

Original post made on Jan 5, 2012

California's quest to build a high-speed rail system between San Francisco and Los Angeles suffered a heavy blow Tuesday when a peer-review committee recommended that state legislators not fund the project until major changes are made to the business plan for the increasingly controversial line.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 6, 2012, 12:00 AM


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Posted by Jeff Coykendall
a resident of another community
on Jan 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm

It seems that far too many people have been blinded by high-speed rail's "light at the end of the tunnel." Who will actually benefit from it? Who wants to be whizzing down the Central Valley on the ultimate terrorist/earthquake target? Who stops to think how they are locked into extremely limited stops (stops that they will have to shuttle/bus/rental car, etc. to get to where they REALLY have to go? Limited options! BART was originally planned to go from Sacramento to San Diego (consider all the transfers necessary just to get to where a car, bus, or regional transit would be much easier). My point? It would be a very expensive (I'd prefer the money be spent on education, health care, social services, etc.) "folly trolley" that the general public would be rail-roaded into for the sake of short-sighted long distance vested interests who can't see beyond the platform of this track trick. Just a thought...
Jeff Coykendsll

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Posted by DB
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 6, 2012 at 8:46 am

The total proposed cost according to the State fact sheet is $98 Billion. Meanwhile, the governor wants to raise sales and income tax or threatens to cut emergency, education, and social services.

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Posted by DB
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 6, 2012 at 9:29 am

From the states website, and the "HIGH-SPEED RAIL 2012 DRAFT BUSINESS PLAN FACT SHEET*", the total project cost is $98.5 Billion**.

The FACT SHEET also says there will be 4,500 permanent operations and maintenance jobs, and 20,000 construction jobs per year during construction. That is a cost of $21.9 million per permanent job, or $4 million per permanent and temporary job. That's a very high cost for "job creation."

The FACT SHEET also says "CO2 emissions reduced by 3 million tons" which sounds like a big number, until you realize that Californians exhale 30 million tons of CO2 per year, and the Earth's atmosphere contains 3 million megatons of CO2 (3x1012 tons). CO2 in atmosphere is ~381 ppm, and 3 million tons is 0.000375 ppm; an insignificant amount.

So the "green" benefits of the rail don't pan out, and the cost of job creation is way to high, and it certainly is not worth raising taxes and bonds and going into further debt.

*Web Link

**almost a trillion dollars, and when has the State ever been under budget on anything?

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Posted by GX
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2012 at 9:44 am

The fact that it is taking this much effort to kill an obviously bad idea demonstrates how dysfunctional CA state government is currently.

When are we going to get leaders who have the courage to do what is right regardless what Party momentum or union bosses say?

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Posted by DB
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jan 6, 2012 at 10:37 am

We will get those leaders when we elect them. There were many alternatives to Brown, but Californians voted for a demonstrated failed governor with a lifelong track record of mismanagement and extremist agenda.

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Posted by gary
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 6, 2012 at 11:00 am

The numbers astound me (thanks to the "commenters" who did the math). This state & its politicians are off the rails nuts (pun intended) though they are not alone, i.e. see SF/Chinatown Subway. It is extremely discouraging to listen to or read about the ideas these nutcases come up with that will supposedly make life better for all. It's like a bad movie out there. Whose writing the script? Visionaries? Huh!! Methinks common sense went out the window a long time ago.

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Posted by Vi Moore
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 6, 2012 at 11:40 am

Could we get BART to Livermore before we try to connect San Diego and San Francisco with high speed rail?