Lee Ohanian: Cost of California high-speed rail has ballooned from $39 bil $100 bil, although the plan is scaled back to exclude San Diego & Sacramento—but include Bakersfield & Madeira, both having no use for it. @HooverInst

Dec 07, 06:15 AM

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Painting of Sutter's Fort ruins, c. 1900

Calthea C. Vivian (1857–1943) - http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/tf6489p330/?layout=metadata&brand=calisphere/reuterdahl.952.html

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File:Sutter's Fort ruins painting by Calthea Vivian.jpg

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Lee Ohanian: Cost of California high-speed rail has ballooned from $39 bil $100 bil, although the plan is scaled back to exclude San Diego & Sacramento—but include Bakersfield (where the state prison reposes) & Madeira, both having no use for it. @HooverInst

Lee E. Ohanian , Professor of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles ; Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; in re: Does Cali care about the high-speed rail project? In 2008, voters were willing because of promised federal funding. Now the original $39 bil has ballooned to about $100 bil, even though the plan is scaled back to exclude San Diego and Sacramento. It will include Bakersfield (where the state prison reposes) and Madeira, both of which have no use for it. Sounds like [only] a sort-of high speed project. It was supposed to go up to 150 mph and then reduce speed swiftly in minutes. A head-scratcher.

They didn't secure all the needed land? Isn’t that fundamental? Some of the planners forgot that all the utilities had to be moved. A retired judge is presiding over this; he said, “This job will last past my lifetime.” Inexcusable mistakes made on this project.

High-speed rail is, however, being built from Houston toward Dallas, stopping in College Station: about $15 bil. It’ll all be done with private money, will be finished in about five years. Cali has already spent $5,4 bil; when you think of the possible alternative uses in transport, it's very sad. Gavin Newsom has endorsed the idea in principle, but the $100 bil so far has only about $12.7 bil allocated.