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  • sstail94 sstail94 Apr 17, 2013 9:37 AM Flag

    California High Speed Rail Falls Short of Expectations


    Another waste of taxpayer billions on a wo

    Various proposals have envisioned a high speed rail system that spans the United States. In California, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has already begun implementing its decades-old plan to connect Northern California with Southern California. However, the rail system would lose more than $100 million per year, say Joseph Vranich, Wendell Cox and Adrian Moore in a new study for the Reason Foundation.

    Vranich, Cox and Moore estimate that the high speed rail system would result in losses of $124 million to $373 million a year.
    Voters approved the system in 2008 after being promised that a bullet train would transport passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in two hours and 40 minutes.
    The study finds that the system's fastest non-stop trip would take almost four hours and most trips would take closer to five hours.
    The Rail Authority would share tracks with freight trains in some locations, which would limit speeds to 100 to 150 miles an hour but would make up for those lower speeds by traveling at 220 miles per hour, a speed that no train in the world is capable of traveling at.

    Voters were also promised that tickets would cost about $50 per person but tickets are now expected to cost $81.
    Increased travel times and ticket prices will affect ridership, which the Rail Authority has already downgraded.
    In 2008, ridership was estimated between 65.5 million and 117 million riders in 2035 but now it predicts ridership between 19.6 million and 31.8 million riders in 2035.
    Even if California's high speed rail system equaled European ridership levels, the system would hit just 7.6 million rides a year.
    Thus, ridership in 2035 is likely to be 65 percent to 77 percent lower than currently projected.
    The lower ridership and increased travel times and ticket prices mean that the California high speed rail system will not be delivered at the cost promised to taxpayers and will not generate the profits taxpayers expect.

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    • Huge expenditure on a transportation ideology that is nearly 200 years old?????
      Is America FULL of such bright ideas????

    • I have to laugh. The first mile of track has yet to be laid and you're already confident that it is a waste of money. Perhaps if you spent time driving between LA and San Francisco, as I do quite often, you might have a different view of the matter. Traffic congestion in both cities is terrible. Air ports are crowded and expensive and when you add in the time to get from, say, LAX to downtown LA, you're lucky if you can make the trip in 4-5 hours.

      As for the price, a public subsidy of $100 million a year for a safe, comfortable, relaxing way to go between those cities looks pretty cheap to me.

      • 3 Replies to w.heinlein
      • You are usually Ms. Logic until something manages to chip into your religious beliefs then all of a sudden you suspend said logic and like to waste money in the name of your chosen divine one. This train does not look like a good deal but can pretend you solved global warming and go back to buying a new computer and TV which of course do not contribute to global warming.

      • You want a waste of money?

        How about all the total wastes of FLESH in the WELFARE Red States collecting Food Stamps and SSI Disability?

        (More than 20 percent on Food Stamps and twelve percent running the SSI Disability scam in bright red state Kentucky, for example? No wonder that place voted 60 percent fro Romney? No wonder their two blowhard conservative Senators have their empty heads so far up their Koch-owned a$ze$?)

        Even if just ONE PERSON ever rides a high speed rail line from La to San Francisco that's still better ROI than pouring money onto inbred welfare state Apes who have produced absolutely NOTHING since 1865 now.

    • Springs,

      $100 mil a year is nothing for 35 million people, that is less than $30. However, the benefits are enormous in 2020 and beyond. Recall in the 60's, before HWY 5 was open in the 70's, there was the very dangerous congested HWY 99 and HWY1. Now all three HWYs are congested in most hours of the day.

    • We could have invaded Mozambique with that money!

      -D!ckless Cheney

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