Who would have ever suspected that a state headed rapidly towards bankruptcy would ever come to regret spending billions on a marginally useful bullet train that’s practically guaranteed to be a money losing disappointment?
Ambitious plans for a fast track linking Los Angeles and San Francisco at speeds of up to 220mph in just over two-and-a-half hours were slimly approved by 53 per cent in a statewide ballot in 2008. That allowed the state to raise $10 billion from bonds and secured an injection of $3.5 billion in stimulus money from the Obama administration. There is currently no direct train route between the two.
…The project is still $54.9 billion short of what is needed, raising fears that the state will be unable to find the funds to finish later sections, and could be left with a futuristic rail line linking minor cities and farming communities.
…A new poll shows almost three fifths would oppose the bullet train and halt public borrowing if given another chance to vote.
Almost seven in 10 said that, if the train ever does run between Los Angeles and San Francisco, they would “never or hardly ever” use it.
Not a single person said they would use it more than once a week, and only 33 per cent said they would prefer the bullet train over a one hour plane journey or seven hour drive.
…There was also disillusion with the handling of the project so far. It was initially projected to cost $45 billion and deliver passengers between the two major cities in a few hours by 2020.
Last autumn the state-run California High-Speed Rail Authority, which is overseeing it, disclosed the cost had more than doubled to $98.5 billion with a finish date of 2033.
After an outcry $30 billion was shaved off that estimate, but only by reducing the speed of the trains and using sections of existing slow track.
The authority is also facing legal challenges from those whose land the track will have to cross.
This project really sounds like it’s destined for success, doesn’t it? Of course, the real question isn’t why is the bullet train already shaping up to be such a failure, it’s why did anyone think it would succeed? These are all completely predictable problems, so why were the liberals who touted this train wreck in the making blindsided by them? Moreover, why don’t liberals ever learn anything from these failures? There are liberals still backing this choo-choo to nowhere. At what point do the people in California figure out that the state is being run by people who don’t know what they’re doing and will never be able to govern effectively? Probably never, which is why California is headed for bankruptcy.