Thursday, May 2, 2019

EDI -- The California Bullet Train -- May 2, 2019

Einstein's definition of insanity: California.

California high-speed rail project -- estimated cost rises to $79 billion. Will be a short track in the valley serving three cities with a combined population of one million. The track will run through an industrial / agricultural sector of California and will carry no freight.

The "bullet train" is tracked here.

Wanna bet the $2 trillion federal infrastructure bill will contain more money for the California bullet train, and that state gasoline taxes are being used to pay for this project?

Bloomberg doesn't even carry this as a "business" story any more. It's under "Politics." Wow.
  • bullet train "line" now expected to cost as much as $79 billion 
  • initial segment cost grew to $12.4 billion from $10.6 billion
Fortunately California is flush with money, and apparently the state is willing to flush it right down the toilet. 
Initially conceived as connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles with a high-speed train that would slash travel times and transform the state’s economy, the project has been beset by cost overruns and delays. Governor Gavin Newsom, who took office this year, said in a February speech that the rail line as planned “would cost too much and take too long.” He said at the time he would focus on finishing roughly 170 miles of track in the Central Valley and preliminary work on the entire system.
The agency’s report said the Central Valley line would be completed by the end of 2028. It noted that funding for much of the rest of the work still must be determined.
170 miles of track: about what it would take from Williston, ND, to Minot, ND, if you threw in a few double-track for sidings.

But think about that. Almost $100 billion. A railroad that will serve a geographical area with less than one million people. A railroad that will run through prime industrial / agricultural sectors and won't carry freight. Have we lost all sanity?

$80 billion.

The population of California is 40 million people.

$2,000 / California resident. $5,000 per California family or more.

If only 50% of Californians pay taxes, the cost per paying family goes up immensely. But I guess one can raise the money through state excise taxes on gasoline and diesel.

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