Transportation Policy

Breaking: California High-Speed Rail Boondoggle Now Officially Texas-Sized


Via Salon's AP feed comes the latest cost projections for the utter waste of money on high-speed rail that California taxpayers approved via ballot initiative in 2008. Guess what? The project, which envisions using centuries-old technology to shlep humanoids in style from Anaheim to the Bay Area by 2033, is gonna cost a lot more than originally billed.

The initial estimate to build the system when voters approved bond funding for it in 2008 was $43 billion. In non-adjusted, 2010 dollars that amount is now $65.4 billion, showing the costs have risen significantly.

"This is us telling it like it is to the public — no sugar-coating, no baloney," said Dan Richard, one of two appointees Gov. Jerry Brown made to the California High-Speed Rail Authority last summer.

Mmm, sugar-coated baloney.

The report estimates the actual cost at $98.5 billion if the route between San Francisco and Anaheim is completed in 2033. The plan assumes private investment will account for roughly 20 percent of the total cost, with much of the rest coming from additional borrowing.

I plainly admit that math is not my forte, but I'm having trouble following the numbers. Three years ago, voters were sold a project that was gonna cost $43 billion, which now costs $66 billion in 2010 dollars, but the actual cost is gonna be $98.5 billion, if everything goes faster than Carl Douglas doing some kung-fu fighting and the whole system is up and running by 2033? Not to worry, though, because the very best people in the California government and heavily subsidized business community and at the Obama White House are all over it.

Where's the line in the "business plan" that says all numbers are placeholders until a new form of scientific measurement is developed to calculate the amount of bullshit included in these estimates?

Whole story here.

Reason on transportation here.

In 2010, gave 3 Reasons Obama's High-Speed Rail Will Go Nowhere Fast. Check it out, especially if you're a Super Train aficianado: