Is High-Speed Rail a Fantasy? Adrian Moore and Wendell Cox on CA's Biggest Boondoggle.


On Friday, a Superior Court Judge ruled that the agency overseeing California's high-speed rail project has failed to comply with both financial and environmental conditions that were part of the ballot measure initially approving the project. The judge called the notion of adequate funding for the project only "theoretically possible." Via the SF Gate:

Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny said the California High-Speed Rail Authority "abused its discretion by approving a funding plan that did not comply with the requirements of the law" and has failed to identify "sources of funds that were more than merely theoretically possible."

Yet he declined to immediately halt funding for the project and said he will hold another hearing to determine what happens next. A date has not yet been set.

"High-speed rail is a little bit too much of a religious kind of project," says Reason Foundation's VP of Research Adrian Moore. "There's people who are devotees of it because they love the idea of it, the conception."

Moore sat down with author, consultant, and transportation expert Wendell Cox, who runs the urban policy group Demographia. They discussed California's doomed plan to build a $69-billion high-speed rail along the coast and compared it to similar failures around the world, pointing out the even the much-vaunted Japan and France rail lines don't really make money. This interview was recorded before the court ruling referenced above. 

Approximately 27 minutes.

Shot by Tracy Oppenheimer, Alex Manning, and Paul Detrick. Edited by Zach Weissmueller and Patrick Bowers.

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