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Gov. Newsom Pulls the Plug on California’s Costly Bullet Train Boondoggle

Celebrate, don’t mourn, the end of what’s always been a bad plan.

California High-Speed Rail constructionGary Reyes/TNS/NewscomCalifornia's wasteful, expensive, and likely doomed-to-fail statewide bullet train project is getting killed. Today, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said he's abandoning the plan as "too costly."

Newsom made the announcement in his State of the State address this morning. As the Associated Press reports:

Newsom said Tuesday in his State of the State address it "would cost too much and take too long" to build the line long championed by his predecessor, Jerry Brown. Latest estimates pin the cost at $77 billion and completion in 2033.

Newsom says he wants to continue construction of the high-speed link from Merced to Bakersfield in California's Central Valley. He says building the line could bring economic transformation to the agricultural region.

And he says abandoning that portion of the project would require the state to return $3.5 billion in federal dollars.

Newsom also is replacing Brown's head of the board that oversee the project and is pledging to hold the project's contractors more accountable for cost overruns.

Newsom actually turned against the bullet train project years ago but then went quiet about it when he began his plans to run for governor. He declined to discuss what he saw as the train's future on the campaign trail, but after he was elected he suggested some sort of cutback was coming, possibly eliminating the bottom half of the project, making it a train from San Francisco to the Central Valley of California.

Now it looks like he's scaling even that back. Californians are just going to be left with a train in the middle of some of the more rural parts of the state because the Newsom administration doesn't want to have to repay the federal funding.

Whatever may come next, this is happy news for most California citizens. Voters approved a ballot initiative in 2008 that set aside a $10 billion bond to begin the project of building a high-speed rail line from Los Angeles to San Francisco with the promise that more funding would come through from the feds or from private sources, that the train would not require subsidies to operate, and that it would help fight climate change.

But it didn't take long for all those claims to be shown as unlikely, especially the costs. President Barack Obama's administration did provide $3.5 billion in stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but the project otherwise saw little additional outside financial support. The train's cost ballooned from $64 to $77 billion (and it would likely end up well over $100 billion if actually completed). The construction on the first leg began in the middle of California, near Fresno, and it wouldn't even link Los Angeles to San Francisco until 2029.

As for the other alleged benefits of the high-speed rail, the Reason Foundation (the non-profit that publishes this website) has been warning all along that the train would lose millions of dollars a year, wouldn't be anywhere near as fast as promised, would cost too much to ride, and would not reach anywhere near the ridership estimates that the California High-Speed Rail Authority projected.

The decision to end the project after the current construction is finished is, of course, a big blow to former Gov. Jerry Brown. This train was his pet project and he undoubtedly saw it as his legacy. No matter how much evidence was presented that the whole deal was a big boondoggle that would leave taxpayers holding the bag, Brown didn't waver.

But the announcement is also a bit of a kick in the teeth for the proposed Green New Deal by progressive Democrats in Congress. The Green New Deal, pushed by lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), heavily leans on the idea that high-speed rail could be used to link cities and ultimately reduce the use of air travel. It was a wholly unrealistic plan for any number of logistical reasons, as Joe Setyon explained last week. Newsom killing off the project's expansion also implicates the massive costs of the lawmakers' proposals.

And Newsom is no fiscal conservative. In all likelihood, he wants to use the money he'll save from not building the train on other big progressive aims, like single-payer health care coverage or propping up the state's overextended pension system for public employees. As bad as they are, those aims are at least preferable to an absurdly overpriced makework project intended to line certain people's pockets at the expense of the taxpayers.

Here's ReasonTV on the problems and scandals of the project:

Update: State Sen. Scott Weiner seems to think the press is misquoting what Newsom said in the State of the State address:

I went back and listened to Newsom's speech, posted online. Weiner is not quite accurate here. Newsom says he wants to ultimately connect the part of the high-speed train that gets built to Los Angeles and San Francisco, but is very careful in making it clear that he's not talking about continuing the bullet train onward north and south. My perspective here is that he's trying to be gentle at letting folks down.

Photo Credit: Gary Reyes/TNS/Newscom

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  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Today, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said he's abandoning the plan as "too costly."

    If we spent more it wouldn't have been so expensive.

    /Prog

  • Echo Chamber||

    Abandoned or merely deferred until the Feds pick up all the funding under the GND?

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Well, flying is mean to polar bears.

  • Overt||

    I remember having lunch with a good proggy friend, about 15 years ago when this bond first passed. We were trying to be polite, and not get into a big political argument, but we were dancing around pet issues. We actually agreed a lot on how crony California is, and how bad the government was prioritizing things.

    Thinking I was tossing up an easy conversation piece, I said "If you want an easy example of how unserious this state is about spending- just look at the high speed train that just passed on ballot initiative."

    He suddenly got very serious, "What's wrong with the bullet train?"

    I then walked through all the points we had agreed on- the problems with taking on big projects without the funding, setting up massive bureaucracies to "study" and recommend things, taking on more debt when we already had too much debt, vanity projects when schools and basic infrastructure were underfunded- and why this was a perfect example. But this was like a back door past his bullshit firewall. It was European and anti-car, so he had just flipped the bit on it, and could not accept that it was a bad idea.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Kinda like closed-border 'libertarians'.
    They can go on and on telling you all about how the government is terrible, it's corrupt, it wastes money, it's full of cronyism, it actively harms people, it has armed thugs with badges terrorizing innocent people, it's inept, it imposes massive regulations and massive costs on everyone, it actively infringes upon everyone's liberty...

    ... but when it comes to immigration, "that's different!"

  • DenverJ||

    Yeah because protecting the border is actually a legitimate function of government. So are cops, they just shouldn't have immunity.

  • GILMORE™||

    "closed-border 'libertarians'"

    I don't think the term "closed border" is any more real a prospect than the concept of "open border"

    The only thing people differ on is "how much focus should be spent on restricting certain kinds of immigration", not 'all'. sure you can find some crazies on both sides, but none are representing any consensus view.

    Welch said openly (possibly more than once) that 'open borders' is more like a fantasy posture taken for ideological points rather than real policy that can be practically implemented. There is simply no policy in which there would be absolute absence of any bureaucracy controlling inflow and outflow of people and goods. Customs + public health by themselves require 'cops' and monitoring of who/what moves between nation.

    Posturing about a particular personal ideological view as being morally superior is pretty fucking silly, in other words, since it would simply never see the light of day in any real world.

  • Ricardo Vacilon||

    Actually, you can walk into Mexico without being accosted by a single government official.

  • Ricardo Vacilon||

    Actually, you can walk into Mexico without being accosted by a single government official.

  • Austen Heller||

    My last trip to Mx required a stop on the way in and on the way out. Is there another Mx you are referring to? New Mx? Yeah, that one.

  • JoeBlow123||

    "Posturing about a particular personal ideological view as being morally superior is pretty fucking silly, in other words, since it would simply never see the light of day in any real world."

    If you took away moral preening then jeff would be barely able to post!

  • awildseaking||

    That's an odd way to frame it. There's no such thing as an open or closed border. There's either a border or there isn't.

    Efficiency isn't the primary reason for government not ruling our lives. It's not like authoritarianism becomes acceptable just because it's run by competent people.

  • Juice||

    it "would cost too much and take too long" to build

    And too few people would use it turning it into a white elephant money pit.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    And it's a bullet train. The progs don't like bullets very much. So scrapping this project is a big win for them.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The Proggies love them some passanger rail, almost no matter what form it takes. The only reason they haven't pushed bullet trains as hard as light rail is that there are fewer places they control where it even LOOKS like it makes sense.

  • Agammamon||

    Progressives love bullets - as long as they're controlled by the state.

    So a 'bullet train' is perfectly fine for them.

  • plusafdotcom||

    "He says building the line could bring economic transformation to the agricultural region.".....

    Um, 'scuze me, but HowTF will getting PASSENGERS Through an Agricultural Region transform the economy OF the agricultural region?!?!??

    A bullet FREIGHT train might bring their produce to market faster and fresher, but a shitload of passengers looking out the windows between LA and SF.. won't do crap for Agriculture!

    Any bureaucrats wanna 'splain THAT to us?
    Jeez!

  • Radioactive||

    all key elements that appeal to dummocrats

  • Hugh Akston||

    Being on a train that takes you from Merced to Bakersfield sounds like a chilling episode of the new Twilight Zone.

  • Brandybuck||

    Better than driving that route.

  • JWatts||

    It's 165 miles. How many people will even use this train? What an efffing boondoggle. How could they manage to waste that much money?

  • Brandybuck||

    I'm not saying it's a bad route. I drive it all the time. But Hugh sounds as if he thinks it's a trip through backwater hell or something. It's a boring drive but thart's it.

    But yeah, it's a boondoggle. Fresno will now have a permanent monument to government boondoggles on their skyline. Yes, skyline. Because that stupid bullet train had to be elevated the whole way through the city.

  • brady949||

    Daily ridership on a train between Merced and Bakersfield is going to be about 12 people

  • ||

    When I drive that route, I can listen to whatever I want without having to use headphones, I can have non-muzzled phone calls (Bluetooth), I can eat and drink (nonalcoholic beverages), and I can choose whoever is in the car with me. I know I can't do the first, second, and last parts on the train, and it's not clear if they'd let me do the third.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Even more chilling than Shackford trying on some Britches for size.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    One can almost literally end up in the cornfield

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    The problem was it didn't get enough of other people's money.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Or somehow include housing for the homeless.

  • tommyguns2||

    Actually, that's an excellent idea. Make the train a homeless tent city that simply travels back and forth between the 2 towns. That way CA can state that ridership of the bullet train is at full capacity and thus an unqualified success!

    And let progressives take turns on cleaning the bathrooms...

  • Miter Broller||

    ...don't forget the indigenous peoples!

  • cgr2727||

    Lyle Lanley sees an opportunity...

  • Brandybuck||

    It's crazy that they started building this in the middle. If they started on one end or the other then at least you could have a bullet train from SF to San Jose, or LA to Ventura. But bullet train from south Fresno to north Fresno, which is what we have now, is pointless. Yet there it stand. Literally. Overshadowing half of Fresno, only half way across the river. Because the fuckhead politicians are idiots.

  • jkj||

    The point was to start at a location that was the easiest so that once it was started it would be harder to stop it. Starting in the Middle makes perfect political sense. Seems like the cost and delays are even too much to bear for Newsom.

  • ||

    The point was to start at a location that was the easiest so that once it was started it would be harder to stop it.

    ^ This. Buried in the language of the original proposition was the acknowledgement that a route over the mountains between LA and Bakersfield had not been identified, nor had one over the mountains from the Central Valley to the SF Bay Area (where Oakland, not SF, would have to be the terminus). Starting at either end would have revealed the project to be unfeasible from the get-go. The intent, I believe, was to get far enough in that there would be a "sunk costs" argument against stopping.

  • Sevo||

    "I offer this quote from former San Fransisco Mayor Willie Brown,
    [...]
    "News that the Transbay Terminal is something like $300 million over budget should not come as a shock to anyone. We always knew the initial estimate was way under the real cost. Just like we never had a real cost for the Central Subway or the Bay Bridge or any other massive construction project. So get off it. In the world of civic projects, the first budget is really just a down payment. If people knew the real cost from the start, nothing would ever be approved. The idea is to get going. Start digging a hole and make it so big, there's no alternative to coming up with the money to fill it in."
    http://bereansatthegate.com/ha.....he-public/

  • Rat on a train||

    Now they have a new $2B bus station!

  • perlchpr||

    What a cockbiter. :-|

  • D-Pizzle||

    Sevo|2.12.19 @ 6:04PM|#

    "I offer this quote from former San Fransisco Mayor Willie Brown,
    [...]

    Gee, it's a real mystery why many people refer to Democrats as "post-democratic."

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Well, someday the mountains will erode away...

  • Rat on a train||

    Just wait 15 million years for LA and SF to be neighbors.

  • jkj||

    That sunk cost fallacy is right there in Newsom speech from today:

    "Abandoning high speed rail entirely means we will have wasted billions of dollars with nothing but broken promises and lawsuits to show for it."

  • Sevo||

    +1^

  • CE||

    But sunk costs are sunk either way, another issue Californians have with basic logic.

  • D-Pizzle||

    In my experience, accountants in general have a real problem with the sunk cost fallacy.

  • vek||

    Yeah. Starting at either end might have actually enabled it to serve some useful purpose in its shortened form... This they'd probably be better off leaving to rot.

  • Necron 99||

    Should have built a Mono Rail! It would have put California on the map, just like Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook. I guess that is more of a Shelbyville idea.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Is there a chance the track might bend?

  • Necron 99||

    Not on your life, my Hindu friend.

  • Hugh Akston||

    What about us braindead slobs?

  • Ska||

    You'll be given cushy jobs!

  • Bearded Spock||

    Were you sent here by the Devil?

  • HGW xx/7||

    No, good sir, I'm on the level.

  • Rat on a train||

    Connect Anaheim and Sacramento?

  • NashTiger||

    Now wait just a minute! We're twice as smart as the people of Shelbyville, just tell us your idea and we'll vote for it.

  • Necron 99||

    They can replace this bullet train with a vacuum tube from LA to SF and run supersonic mag-lev trains through it. Surely nothing bad can happen running supersonic trains through vacuum tubes. Cheap and easy LA to SF in 30 minutes.

    I feel a song coming on... HyperLoop! HyperLoop! HyperLoop!

  • Mongo||

    My love of trains, fine art, and black people makes me a pariah in some libertarian circles....

  • Lowdog||

    Do you know where choo choo go?

  • Rockabilly||

  • Agammamon||

    Mongo just pawn in game of life.

  • Aloysious||

    Mongo ride bull. No ride choo choo.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    The sherriff is near.

  • Still Curmudgeoned (Nunya)||

    That's not what he said. He said the sheriff is a ...

  • tommyguns2||

    Good ol' Gabby Johnson.....

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    And he says abandoning that portion of the project would require the state to return $3.5 billion in federal dollars.

    Thems is now wall dollars.

  • BigT||

    You misspelled war.

  • DenverJ||

    You know who else something something "trains", something something "bullet", something something "killed"?

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    Lost Dogs?

  • Ray McKigney||

    Peter Singer?

  • Fats of Fury||

    The next move in the trajectory of prog transportation needs should be a bullet stage coach followed by a high speed sedan chair that seats 40.

  • perlchpr||

    If only someone could have predicted this outcome from the very beginning.

    Oh, wait. We did.

  • ||

    The GND already hits a snag.

    Also.

    Socialists are retarded social engineers who are sick in the head.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    Occasional-Cortex hardest hit.

    No wait, that would be her competitors, who no longer have this to hang her with. They'll have to rely on "unwilling to work" and cow farts.

  • tommyguns2||

    The problem is that with the GND they all went full retard.

    Everyone knows you never go full retard... never!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6WHBO_Qc-Q

  • LynchPin1477||

    As anyone who read the GND knows, the only solution is to bigger, harder, and more expensive.

  • Longtobefree||

    She said "two out of three ain't that bad"

  • Ray McKigney||

    But what about all those sunk costs? We can't just walk away and let them be a total waste!

  • Jerryskids||

    You ever seen one of those horror movies where the heroes manage to kill Freddie/Michael/Jason? Newsom just waves his hand and declared the program dead, as if thousands of grifters scamming tens of millions of dollars off this boondoggle are just going to fold up their tents and go away rather than spending a few million lobbying to keep the gravy train rolling. It ain't dead yet.

  • Rich||

  • Bearded Spock||

    I agree with the theory circulating on Twitter that this is a giant, public bitch-slap to the AOC wing of the Donkey Party.

  • Rockabilly||

    But how will I get from LA to NYC in 10 years if not by a solar powered train?

    I was thinking about a solar powered plane or at the very least, a coast to coast hand glider. I'd say bring back the covered wagons but the animals that pulled farted so that's out.

    On the positive side, when people have to walk or bike, obesity rates will go down and people will look more attractive.

  • Agammamon||

    It won't be because of the walking. It will be because there's no food.

  • CE||

    Even the California bullet train would have made it in less than 10 years. That thing could have hit 60 mph on a good day downhill, so maybe 50 hours coast to coast. How long does it take to fly?

  • JWatts||

    "I'd say bring back the covered wagons but the animals that pulled farted so that's out."

    Rickshaws of course.

  • DrZ||

    Lose the $3.5B - it will be worth it.

  • DrZ||

    On the other hand - build the whole thing.

    I am sure hundreds of Europeans would come to the U.S. every year to ride the train and marvel how anything like this could have ever been built. When they get to the other end they could catch a 50 minute air flight back to when they came for 1/5 of the price of the train ticket.

    It all makes sense.

  • Boba||

    The proposal put forth by the train's advocates project ridership of (roughly) 110 million. Reason's researchers pegged it at about 30 million. A few month after the proposition passed, the agency in charge of the building it listed a number close to what Reason's. The whole thing was fraudulently sold.

  • perlchpr||

    That's billions with a "B", Boba, not millions.

  • Sevo||

    BTW, SF's $2Bn bus-stop (which is closed for repairs after being open for, oh two weeks or so) has this huge hole underneath for the northern terminus of the now-dead moonbeam choo-choo.

  • Rat on a train||

    For another $6B they may be able to get low speed rail service to the station.

  • Sevo||

    We have a subway (in progress) from the train terminal to China Town (another willie brown boondoggle; see above)
    It's several years and millions over budget:
    "Covering Their Tracks: The Central Subway Project Buries Millions in a Deep Dark Place"
    https://archives.sfweekly.com/sanfrancisco
    /covering-their-tracks-the-central-subway-
    project-buries-millions-in-a-deep-dark-
    place/Content?oid=2949067

  • Rat on a train||

  • Sevo||

    "fixed link for you"

    That's OK by me, but I refuse to 'condense' the URLs; Reason can get some software written in the last 15 years or so which automatically shrinks them, along with a server not steam-powered.
    Until then, when you see one of those stacked URLs, knock 10% off what you donate to Reason. I'm down to close to zero by now.

  • Rat on a train||

    Updating the software could put some squirrels out of work. You don't want a squirrel riot.

  • Longtobefree||

    I guess I was asleep - WHEN did the socialists fall all over the Atlas Shrugged transportation system?

  • Hank Phillips||

    Not so fast! Then again, no Transport Sozialist Arbeiterpartei, no faith-based Saudis flying trains into skyscrapers... And doesn't Canada have trains that work OK?

  • jbsnc||

    Thanks, Newsom!!!

  • ||

    On the subject of Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

    ...The doctrinaire libertarians have this one absolutely correct.

    Government only makes things work worse.

  • Enemy of the State||

    The Dems Green Leap Forward will breathe new life into CAs bullet train as well as put a bullet train in every neighborhood!

  • Rat on a train||

    I look forward to the day when a trip to the grocery store on a bullet train take only a minute instead of the 10 it currently takes to drive. The bullet trains will offer door to door service?

  • Sevo||

    "The bullet trains will offer door to door service?"

    Moonbeam's choo-choo was pretty much guaranteed to take you from where you aren't to where you didn't want to go.

  • Len Bias||

    "And Newsom is no fiscal conservative. In all likelihood, he wants to use the money he'll save from not building the train on other big progressive aims, like single-payer health care coverage or propping up the state's overextended pension system for public employees. As bad as they are, those aims are at least preferable to an absurdly overpriced makework project intended to line certain people's pockets at the expense of the taxpayers."

    No, single payer is not preferable, because that means I lose my doctors and insurance, then am kicked on to some shitty public plan. I am used to the CA gov't wasting money, a train never built is more of the same.

  • vek||

    Huh. Amazing that somebody like him is sane enough to cancel this.

    A question though: The sunk cost analysis isn't ALWAYS bad thinking if the costs are already sunk... What would it cost to hook this up to the bay area in a useful way?

    Something that allowed people to live 2 hours by car away could go a LONG way towards dealing with housing issues... If it ends up being a 45 minute train ride.

    I hate trains in general, but in areas dense enough, and expensive enough, they clearly can work. Bay Area Progs may find it economical to pay outrageous sums to ride it daily (AKA run it profitably) if it enables them to buy a $300K 1/2 acre spread house instead of a $2 million dollar tiny shit city house.

    Another thought I've always had for high speed rail: Most cost analysis always seems to only look at passenger potential. The US is better at moving freight by rail... I've often wondered if high speed rail might not make sense in the USA if we had say 2 of them going east/west for largely freight purposes. I can't imagine it would be more expensive than moving 1 to 2 day freight than planes, and whatever passenger trains ran on it would be a bonus. Freight could change the costs dramatically since overhead costs are really what make it more expensive.

  • Sevo||

    "What would it cost to hook this up to the bay area in a useful way?"

    It'd pretty much have to go through Zuckerberg's Palo Alto backyard or through a 70 mile tunnel (in earthquake country).
    In the south, it has to tunnel through the Tehachapis (more earthquake fun!).
    So think of a really, really, really big number. And then square it.
    -------------------------------
    "I hate trains in general, but in areas dense enough, and expensive enough, they clearly can work. Bay Area Progs may find it economical to pay outrageous sums to ride it daily (AKA run it profitably) if it enables them to buy a $300K 1/2 acre spread house instead of a $2 million dollar tiny shit city house."

    We have BART, which serves to increase housing costs everywhere it runs, never gets close to covering its cost from ridership, gets built to places no one wants to go, has parking lots where spaces are 'scalped' by those who hold 'ownership' of them, but don't use them.
    It's run by the government and is unionized, he explained.

  • Rat on a train||

    How does BART's recovery compare to other systems? The last time I checked WMATA fare recovery of operating expenses was something around 60% for Metrorail, 30% for Metrobus and 7% for MetroAccess.

  • Sevo||

    Can't tell ya, but it is no where close to covering costs. If it were, the union 'whines' would be more vintage.

  • perlchpr||

    How does someone "own" a BART parking spot? Like, homeless people who camp out and threaten to break your windows if you don't "rent" it from them?

  • Sevo||

    "How does someone "own" a BART parking spot?"

    They get a renewable lease, and then sublet it. Similarly, the berths at the high-end marinas are nearly all sublet.

  • vek||

    Yeah, I mean I'm not saying it would necessarily make sense the way it would actually get done, it is a government project! I'm from the bay, but never thought about train systems or any nonsense like that in the area, so was just curious if anybody smart had run the numbers.

    But a lot of the reason this shit doesn't work or make sense is simply minor implementation stuff. Charging too little for fares, because poor people! Going where it will never be profitable, because poor people! Shit like that.

    I guess running through hypotheticals that will never happen is a somewhat pointless exercise, but it is a lot of what libertarians and other smart people do... Trying to imagine a better way to run the world and all that.

    For instance, in a non retarded world a privately funded high speed rail system might be able to shoot out a couple directions from the bay, and simply charge people out the ass to ride it. This could be worth it to people who make $250K a year working in the city, but who want to live on a 5 acre spread instead of in a condo. It would drive up values where it went, but help keep them down in the city. A few hundred thousand people a day paying out the ass can pay for a LOT of train over the years, if the system was designed to be profitable in the first place as its first priority, instead of as a social justice engine or whatever nonsense.

    That might actually work. That it can't happen in the retard universe we live in is perhaps the biggest problem.

  • Mr. Tibbs||

    Sunk cost thinking is always flawed, and you pinpointed the issue: what matters is how much it will cost to finish and what the benefits are. What's already been spent is irrelevant. Whether to continue the train is the same answer if we had spent nothing so far or $100 billion so far.

  • Sevo||

    "Whether to continue the train is the same answer if we had spent nothing so far or $100 billion so far."

    Exactly, Sunk costs are sunk; they are what you spent yesterday and can never be recovered. They are SUNK.

  • vek||

    Well, it's not ALWAYS flawed entirely. You must consider what it will cost to complete, and the value there, AND most importantly ongoing costs of that system. Even if something is already completed, but offers little value, and massive ongoing costs, it might be better to shit can it. So it all depends.

    But if somebody decided to waste obscene amounts of money on something that would ostensibly be useful, would have reasonable operating costs going forward, and 99.9999% complete... It would not make sense to not spend the extra $3.50 to finish the thing off.

    Once a bad decision has had enough money spent on it, you can completely discount how stupid it was to spend the money in the first place, provided whatever is left to spend and the ongoing costs are within reason.

    It is obviously best to avoid idiotic boondoggles in the first place though.

  • ||

    I am making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people say to me how much money they can make connected so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my existence. This is what I do…. www.Mesalary.com

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Good for him for canceling this boondoggle.

  • RoyMo||

    Clearly we should build it between El Paso, Tucson, Yuma, and San Diego, then Trump and Occasio Cortez would agree to fund it together

  • Naaman Brown||

    So the bullet train turns out to be the tactical equivalent of the Concorde SST?

  • GILMORE™||

    "the announcement is also a bit of a kick in the teeth for the proposed Green New Deal"

    The scale of self-ownership on display this past week has been pretty impressive.

  • GILMORE™||

    Assuming this 'smaller' version of the thing continues to go forward and is completed, is there any estimate of "to-date spending " and "future expected growth"

    iow, what has been spent so far? (even including in areas where the train will now never go), and how much more is going to be doled out to make this silly 'train to nowhere' real?

    Im just curious if the "cutting of losses" is in fact a clever ploy by the crony folks who have made the most money off this boondoggle to guarantee themselves that the final thing has an even higher-cost-per-mile than even the most absurd previous estimates.

    I can only assume its doomed to be that, b/c large chunks of money have been spent in areas which will never actually see a train.

    I'm just curious how much $ that latter adds up to.

  • Mike Laursen||

    This would be great news except (a) Newsom's office has already issued a statement walking back what he said in his speech; (b) I don't think Newsom ha the authority to alter the high-speed rail plan, since the plan is laid out in detail, including mandatory terminals in San Francisco and Los Angeles, in the ballot initiative that authorized it.

  • Sevo||

    "...since the plan is laid out in detail, including mandatory terminals in San Francisco and Los Angeles, in the ballot initiative that authorized it...."

    I don't think anyone is going to make an issue of that; the same initiative required it to be fully funded before work began.

  • CE||

    At least people won't have to fly from Merced to Bakersfield any more.

  • shortviking||

    Every member of the high speed rail authority past and present ought to be prosecuted for fraud.

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  • John C. Randolph||

    He hasn't pulled the plug, he's just dropped the promises, and intends to keep the money. We all said it was going to be a train to nowhere.

    -jcr

  • TxJack 112||

    So California is killing their high speed rail because it is too costly and will not be able to complete with air travel. The current cost of the train is $89 million per mile. However, the Dems in DC are saying that we will be able to replace all air travel with hi speed rail if we sign on to AOC's green new deal. They say France and Japan are excellent examples of how efficient and cost effective hi speed rail can be. France is the size of Texas and Japan the size of California, the state that just killed its rail project as too expensive.....

  • Lurker Jack||

    "...a bit of a kick in the teeth.."

    I see what you did there.

  • Gasman||

    Why was the cost per mile for this project going to be 10X the cost of interstate highway. The rails could have been made of solid gold (though not durable enough for train traffic) and still had money left.
    Total boondogle.

  • Gasman||

    Why was the cost per mile for this project going to be 10X the cost of interstate highway. The rails could have been made of solid gold (though not durable enough for train traffic) and still had money left.
    Total boondogle.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    I supported the bullet train initially but I stopped supporting it several years ago as it was obvious that self driving EVs were coming to an interstate near you before this project could be completed. One thing supporters always gloss over is that the train trip would be around 100 miles longer than a car ride which negates much of the time savings especially when self driving Teslas go door to door.

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  • Miter Broller||

    Calexit can't happen soon enough! Then we'll invade and occupy (Crimea style) and turn it into a non-voting territory. Done and done!

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  • DrZ||

    Newsom put a bullet in the train?

  • ValVerde1867||

    AOC to the rescue. She plans to build high speed rails across 7,000 miles of ocean. Get 'r done.

  • Window Cleaning WA US||

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