That being said, there are many facepalm-worthy decisions made by CAHSR or by others early on in the process, like an extremely sweeping curve on a long, expensive viaduct just outside of Fresno station , or the barely-realistic journey times written into legislation that drive up cost. Another is the choice of the torturous Pacheco Pass over the easier Altamont, or even going around the mountains following the Strait the old rail does. Besides, there's no point to pining after LA-SF rail traffic when airports are perfectly fine between those two. But what about LA-Bakersfield? Modesto-Sacramento? SF-Fresno? That's where a train helps. And to do that, all you need is a train that does comfy, European speeds like 100 mph, instead of a painstakingly-built one that does twice as fast.
Why is it not following I-5 and making zero stops in between the South Bay and LA?
Put all the stations on sidings so that stopped trains do not block the main track. Trains operate point-to-point just like aircraft, with everybody getting on and off at the same time.
This means that there is little downside to adding more stops. The trip time for other stops is unaffected. There is no energy or time wasted on intermediate stops.
gets people from SF to LA in a couple hours or so
Privately-run transportation is smarter about stops. The airlines don't make all those stops when going from SF to LA. They do a non-stop flight.
There is no reason a train has to stop, and non-stop trains are still capable of serving all those cities. You buy a ticket, board the train, and it goes non-stop to the destination city. All this requires is that a stopped train doesn't block the other trains from passing through. Put the station off to the side, maybe even a couple miles from the main track.
It's like with cars: we pull over to the side instead of just turning off the engine in the middle of the road.
At a station that uses island platforms, from west to east you have: southbound through traffic, southbound stopping trains, the platform, northbound stopping trains, northbound through trains.
At a station that uses separate platforms, from west to east you have: southbound platform, southbound stopping trains, southbound through trains, northbound through trains, northbound stopping trains, northbound platform.
Of course, in reality the line may have sections with different numbers of tracks. It could be 1, 2, 3, or 4. There could even be gauntlet tracks.
Frankly, I wish we'd stop using my tax dollars for road subsidies in Flyover, Oklabraska and military assault vehicles for local police, but we live in a society, and we don't always get what we individually want. I'm not naïve and realize that politics have always been selfish, but the subsidy arrow in America points solidly toward the middle, and has done so for decades. They're already getting more than their fair share in Bakersfield, so maybe they can shut up for a little while and take a hit for the common good.
The estimates that justified it relied on displaced freeway traffic in the valley, without that and just traffic between the two initial termini (or maybe adding Sab Diego, but if you are avoiding the Valley you presumably drop the planned Sacramento terminus as well) there wouldn't be an economic case for the project at all.
The inland cities won't get to see that benefit, since the train that's supposed to be providing that economic growth would only be doing so for two coastal areas.
Unless you're claiming here that the prosperity of San Francisco and Los Angeles means that Fresno and Bakersfield magically become richer, in which case that'd just be trickle-down economics (but maybe that'd be fitting for the state where Reagan was Governor).
"Frankly, I wish we'd stop using my tax dollars for road subsidies in Flyover, Oklabraska"
Okay, you're free to vote that way. I don't wish that, and I'll tend to vote accordingly. Or, more precisely: I'll be inclined to vote for politicians who in turn vote/act/etc. accordingly.
(I do agree with you about the proliferation of military assault vehicles in civilian police departments, for what it's worth; that's a waste of money that'd be better spent elsewhere, like on transportation infrastructure).
In the case of this train, the point of the State of California funding it is for the State of California as a whole to benefit. If San Francisco and Los Angeles want to build a train that only connects those two cities and leave the rest of the state high and dry, then they can spend their own money on it. If you expect us inland Californians to pitch in, then the least y'all can do is give us some stops in the bigger of our cities.
"They're already getting more than their fair share in Bakersfield"
It's called redistribution of wealth. Just like how some individuals are disadvantaged relative to others, some cities are disadvantaged relative to others. Just like how we help subsidize the welfare of less-fortunate Americans by asking for a greater contribution from more-fortunate Americans, we help subsidize the welfare of less-fortunate cities by asking for a greater contribution from more-fortunate cities.
The subsidy arrow in America points solidly toward the middle because that's where it's needed most right now. Trying to move the arrow back toward the coasts will only amplify that need.
No, that's revisionism. We've been fire-hosing money at rural areas for decades, if not longer. This isn't a recent thing, and it's mostly because our system of government has one branch that over-represents the voices of rural citizens.
"San Francisco and Los Angeles want to build a train that only connects those two cities and leave the rest of the state high and dry, then they can spend their own money on it."
If you expect people to pave roads and provide drinking water and put out forest fires out in Bakersfield, maybe you can spend your own money on it. We'll gladly take our money away from that, and spend it on things we need...like mass transit. Keep up with this absolutist, ultimatum line of thinking, and you're going to lose.
A central justification of building HSR is to not pave roads in the Valley; that is, it displaces freeway construction, expansion, and maintenance that would otherwise be required.
"We've been fire-hosing money at rural areas for decades, if not longer."
Yes, because for decades - if not longer - they haven't had the tax base to support large infrastructure projects, by the very definition of them being rural areas.
"our system of government has one branch that over-represents the voices of rural citizens"
Clarification: it balances them against the overwhelmingly loud collective voice of urban citizens to protect against there being a tyranny of the majority. By enforcing strictly proportional representation, the rural citizens will get steamrolled time and time again. The United States went with a bicameral legislature - and the states followed with their own bicameral legislatures - because its founders recognized that giving minority voices sufficient representation to adequately defend themselves against majority interests is the key to long-term prosperity.
"If you expect people to pave roads and provide drinking water and put out forest fires out in Bakersfield, maybe you can spend your own money on it."
They do pay for those things through taxes. They can't pay as much as giant metropolitan areas, and thus do need financial assistance from said giant metropolitan areas, but it ain't like their residents are magically exempt from state income/property/sales/gas/alcohol/tobacco/etc. taxes, or state DMV fees, or the wide variety of other means by which the State of California collects its revenue.
"Keep up with this absolutist, ultimatum line of thinking, and you're going to lose."
Right back at you: keep up with this absolutist "you dirty farmers don't deserve to ride our fancy new train because we're richer than you" mentality, and you're going to lose. Your position is really the most selfish one possible: burn billions upon billions of dollars on a project that only benefits two already-overwhelmingly-prosperous metropolitan areas in the short term, thus doing nothing to account for the long-term growth of those two areas and their resulting need for their workforce to live further and further away from the city center to be able to afford rent.
Because really, in the long term, connecting SF and LA and Fresno and Bakersfield and (eventually) Sacramento and Stockton and Modesto and San Diego is a surefire recipe for eventual statewide prosperity. San Francisco in particular will have a lot of trouble continuing to grow economically (what with its rising housing costs pushing workers further and further away from the city center) unless there's a fast connection to cheaper places to live; with a high-speed connection to the Central Valley, you now have a more affordable home for a constantly-growing workforce. I'm less familiar with Los Angeles' dynamics in this regard, but I wouldn't be surprised if they saw similar gains. Meanwhile, those rural areas grow and mature and become less reliant on subsidies to operate. Win-win for everyone.
Sure, maybe that costs more upfront, and maybe it'll take a whole 3 hours to get from SF to LA instead of 2.5 (or whatever the actual numbers are, but IIRC even with the stops it's still less than 3 hours between SF and LA), but any sane and rational person would see that those costs are worth it if it means paving the way for California as a whole to continue to grow for another century the same way it has for a century already. Opposing the idea of the Central Valley actually having stops on the CHSR is the definition of irrationality: it'd still cost billions upon billions of dollars, and it ain't like a whole lot of people are clamoring to commute between SF and LA every day (both have thriving economies, and both have high costs of living, so there's no SF/Sac dynamic where people are willing to commute for 2+ hours if it means cheaper rent), so... what would be the point?
The only thing you'd accomplish by making the HSR SF/LA-only would be to extend a nice big metaphorical middle finger toward the Central Valley. If that's your goal, then you do you, but don't be surprised when the Central Valley votes against you while extending it's own middle finger in return.
It is the biggest population center between San Jose and Southern California, though.
We Sacramentans would object to that. We wouldn't adopt some silly slogan about being the world's "Farm-to-Fork Capital" otherwise.
Granted, Sacramento's already the actual capital, so I'm fine with letting them have this one.
Fifth, behind LA, San Diego, San José, and San Francisco.
A major purpose of the train is to reduce future expected freeway traffic that is largely driven by demand between the San Joaquin Valley and the two (well, four in the longest view) termini.
Avoiding the populated parts of the San Joaquin Valley would have missed much of the point of the project.
What kind of country are we building where we send people to live in exurbs in a literal barren desert -- I'm not exaggerating, I was in Palmdale a few weeks ago, and it could have inspired Solzhenitsyn -- with a fast train into the city, lest the petit bourgeois of L.A. be forced to live in -ugh- townhomes? There are great reasons for infill stations, but "encouraging the growth of exurbs" are not among them. Especially not when the exurbs are to function as the servants' quarters so that we can facilitate the continued excesses of Angelenos.
If you want to help the people of California, build the train line to Ventura and then north to Bakersfield. Those places are habitable. And I believe the commoners deserve to go to the beach once in a while.
It does take a little time to learn how to see their beauty, but rest assured, it's there, and many people like it.
we send people to live in exurbs in a literal barren desert
Also the land further south is a lot cheaper.
I now no longer support the project due to the large price tag. I don’t believe the convenience of HSR over air travel is worth the cost of this infrastructure investment. We could get way more value out of investing in building our local public transportation and expanding the highway network.
Maybe if we went back to the drawing board a reasonable HSR plan would be possible (this article certainly provides good areas of improvement). Until then, we need to stop forging ahead.
The thing is that the cost of such projects is an investments and a legacy for future generations to enjoy. Imagine if we had to build the BART or the highway system in this they and age. How much would it cost? How many buildings in highly concentrated areas will need to be taken down to make way? Do you even believe that BART was on budget or on time?
Would it be any cheaper to build a high speed rail system in 10 years? In 20 years? Should we throw the towel and decide that future generations will only have the option to fly to LA or should they have to build it themselves at an even bigger price tag?
I know the HSR project is going to be over budget and the ROI won't be there for my generation. But in the same way that I can commute to SF on Bart, I want future generations to have the option to travel to LA in HSR.
Especially given the poor state of public transit in SF and LA, we can do much more useful stuff with the money. For example, we could build a proper transit network in SF: http://www.newmunimetro.com/m-market/
That baseless assertion is so profoundly wrong at so many levels. It's like claiming that there is no need for cars just because skype is cheap.
(Typed from a train leaving Tokyo at 320 km/h, with beer and sandwich sold on board)
Certainly not economic, noise, land-use, speed, convenience, coverage, or flexibility. Probably in terms of operational costs - but not by a huge margin. And the economics change if you scale the capacity down to match the train system and invest the rest to partially cover the operating costs.
And it took me 5 minutes to think of a (possibly) better plan than theirs.
For all of rail's faults, we are certain it is possible. It's been done many times before. Maybe it can be done cheaper or more efficiently but there is no question that if we build it it will actually work.
Upfront costs are just a small fraction of the price of flying planes around. That 3 (or 10) million per plane quickly gets subsumed by maintenance, staffing, and other recurring costs.
I don't know how loud these hypothetical electric planes are, but if they're like traditional ones I doubt that they'd beat a train in terms of noise (even though HSR can be 10-20 decibels louder than slower trains). I would question that there would actually be an advantage in speed or convenience, at least between highly populated areas.
If you intend to make a honest comparison then you need to factor in at least the cost of building and operating at least two airports.
So, how much does all the new airport and hanger capacity and support infrastructure cost, and what are the maintenance, operations, and replacement costs like over time?
> And it took me 5 minutes to think of a (possibly) better plan than theirs.
Not even close.
I'm not sure that's true.
Heavy locomotives require a lot of fuel, and aircraft turbine engines are fairly efficient these days (airplanes roughly get 1% more efficient per year, compounded annually.)
Railroads also divide the landscape, which has a highly negative impact on wild-life roaming and migration patterns.
Dividing the landscape is a separate issue. It can be mitigated against (tunnels, habitat bridges, route planning), but alone it's not an excuse to stick with emission heavy modes of transport.
Still, given that if California were an independent country it'd be right behind Japan in terms of GDP, if Japan can manage high-speed rail, we should be able to.
That and their mismanagement of property tax and pubic pensions.
It looks like sometimes you do need a Robert Moses to have a vision and force it through. Here there were too many compromises and too many cooks in the kitchen demanding things and putting their c2 in.
HSR is not only supposed to support LA and SF. Air travel is great for those cities but it doesn't do much for anything in between.
Reminds me of PG’s essay about how it’s easy to loss lots of money on bad investments, even for people who are normally frugal on luxuries.
Edit: IIRC the law had some incentives to onshore money at special tax rates, which may cause a one-time bump in revenues.
If I'm buying a widget costing $1 billion, and everyone in the widget industry knows I'm going to accept the lowest bid which will be about $0.5 billion, then I'll end up paying that bidder $1.5 billion... well, I'm going to end up accepting someone who responded rationally to the incentives I'm offering them.
I remember one time someone made the too spread out argument. I went and tried to do an estimate for a HSR line from Chicago to Denver. Via Kansans City and St louis. About 1000 miles.
Probably cost between 25-50 billion. Maybe less since for most of it the only things in the way are corn fields and cows.
Which seems like a lot of money, but then compare with the $2T spent on the 'war on terror' since 2001.
the two most populous regions
And San Diego is more populous than either.
It’s as if nothing can get done now.
There’s another 8000 on the way by 2025.
However, that doesn’t explain how they can build 17,000 miles of track and we can’t build 800.
Source: lived in China
Dodger Stadium was built by razing a poor but cultural neighborhood and it is now considered to have been unethically done. But it was fast...
Which sounds like a very inefficient court system to me.
China doesn't have to do that.
I kinda think that paying the minimum possible attracts low quality workers, which is ok, but sub optimal.
Making the pay competitive, like it was then, might reduce the total cost.
At the same time, I don't really have a solution to this problem. We need to invest in large scale transportation initiatives for the future — projects just as forward-looking as BART once was. Yet not even NYC can pull it together anymore to extend their subway lines on budget and on time.
Worse, every time this happens, initiatives like this become harder and harder for voters to consider.
IMO people consistently underestimate how much public infrastructure is worth. The US highway system was sold at a cost of $27B  but cost over $100B and has cost nearly $500B today .
Does that mean the US Highway system wasn't worth it? Of course it was, the public just doesn't understand how much it had to cost. The Iraq war cost trillions for zero benefit for future generations, even if 50% of the cost of HSR is waste it's still a better deal by far.
And what would BART cost today to build? $50 billion? Would it be worthwhile at that price? The problem is that costs for public infrastructure are ballooning much faster than inflation. That puts more pressure on public infrastructure projects to produce benefits that justify the investment. I fully expect many public infrastructure expenditures today won't ever justify themselves, for example DC's silver line.
you have said it was a boondoggle
$3 I’ll believe. Which is why the constant factors kill us relative to Europe. It costs us 3-7x to build the same infrastructure as Europe. That pushes the required value per ride that needs to be generated to unrealistic levels.
https://www.bart.gov/sites/default/files/docs/BARTfactsheet_... says (as of 2017) 70k people go through the transbay tube in each direction during peak commute hours.
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/esc/tollbridge/SFOBB/Sfobbfacts.htm... isn't dated but says that 270k vehicles cross the Bay Bridge every day.
These numbers aren't directly comparable because they're not measuring the same thing, but taking things as pessimistically as possible, let's say those 270k vehicle crossings all happen during the same time period as the BART numbers. If all those commuters crossed the Bay Bridge by themselves in a vehicle (because the overwhelming majority of car commutes are one person per car), that would be (270k + 70k) / 270k or a 26% increase in vehicles, when it's already ludicrously packed every single day. The bridge would need to have been widened by now (or another bridge built entirely, with feeder freeway interchanges on both sides).
I don't think you realize how completely bonkers the cost of mass-transit development has gotten. New York is up to $1.5-3.5 billion per mile of subway. The new Bay Bridge, massively over-budget at $6.4 billion, represents just a few miles of subway (BART has almost 30 miles).
70k people go through the transbay tube... 270k vehicles cross the Bay Bridge every day
But this will never happen as long as we give HOV lane access to cars other than those carrying 2+ licensed drivers... for political reasons.
The Bart cost was $1.586 billion (according to Wikipedia) or around ~$10 billion of today's dollars.
Let say that back then we had put that money ($1.586 billion) into an annuity in perpetuity and given the money each years to the riders so they will find alternative means of transport.
So if instead of building bart back in the 70's we had put the money into a perpetual annuity, we would be receiving the sum of $63.5 millions a year from the annuity (your own numbers seem to indicate a 4% yield). That is less than 50 cents per ride (according to Wikipedia Bart gives 129 million rides a year).
I don't think the cost is insignificant compared with the level of economic activity that the 400.0000 daily riders generate for SF and the Bay Area in general.
And now imagine 20 years from now how much $63.5 millions a year will buy you compared with the benefits of mass transportation.
The problem that you're ignoring, however, is that the relative cost of building infrastructure today is far higher than it was in the 1970s. If you built BART today, it wouldn't cost $10 billion in today's dollars. NYC's recent projects are running $1.5-3.5 billion per mile of subway track. BART has 28 such miles. That's $42-100 billion, not including the other 70 miles in the system.
So what if BART had cost $8 billion ($50 billion in today's dollars) instead of $1.586 ($10 billion)? Instead of having to great $2.50 of value per ride to justify the investment, you're up to at least $12.50. Or $3,750 per daily BART rider. Is each BART trip generating that much value compared to doing the same trip in a car?
That is less than 50 cents per ride
I'm genuinely curious. My father is retired and has some savings and that would seem like the ideal investment for him.
That’s not counting ongoing operations and maintenance.
I think you mean “politicians consistently lie about how much public infrastructure projects will cost.”
The sensible thing would be for the city to buy up land round the stations, then build offices and lease them. The income would offset the costs.
Transport hubs encourage development.
Check out the BART tracks from Oakland to Fremont especially.
The US highway system was sold at a cost of $27B  but cost over $100B and has cost nearly $500B today 
First of all, the original bill estimate was just for the first 41,000 miles.
Secondly, the $27B is in 1956 dollars, while the "$500B" is in 2006 dollars. BIG difference. $27B in 1956 dollars is roughly $248 billion now, and, again, the scope of the interstate system expanded broadly.
(I'd bet that the modern figure includes both the Interstate system and the U.S. highway system, which lacks meaningful usage distinction now from the designated "Interstate" routes.)
Anyone who didn't expect a California-run HSR project to not be wildly over budget is a fool.
Like finishing the Green Line to @#$&ing LAX, maybe. It's ludicrous how bad the public transportation options are to what is arguably the most important airport on the west coast.
Meanwhile, on my monthly sorties through the Central Valley, the Authority continues with its gigantic monuments to bloodymindedness, building tracks no one will ride and ramps no train will crest. We could do so much better with that money.
Are you not seeing results?
What additonal work would you like to see?
Is there a page about this 405 highway train plan somewhere?
It's still very much in planning stages though, thus the "eventually" in my comment. Might be the same "eventually" as the Purple line making it to UCLA, or it might be the same "eventually" as high-speed rail between LA and SF. I'm hoping for the former...
The price tag in real dollars has increase since Prop 1A was passed in 2008, but the author is misrepresenting how much costs have increased compared to the initial estimate of $40 billion in 2008.
The absolute cost has increased because the estimated completion date has been pushed back by a decade or more and the construction estimates are in year of expenditure dollar, not current dollars or 2008 dollars.
I wrote a comment about it here.
Granted, I hate to see funds being poorly managed and contractors committing fraud with no accountability, which appears to have happened, but I also hate hit pieces where someone compares 2008 dollars to year of expenditure dollars like they're the same thing.
So the Chuo Shinkansen = ~ $253,218,691/mi.(9 stations)
Est. CA HSR (Stage 1) = $190,384,615/mi (15 stations)
In China, they're building infrastructure so fast it's crazy. Regardless of the different social and political systems, we just seem to have lost all ability to function as a society to create big things that we need. Imagine if we wanted to build something like the Hoover Damn today?
I have to assume it has something to do with half the population trying to actively disrupt anything positive the government wants to do, and if they can't completely kill the project, they try to profit off it as much as possible, essentially "proving" that government is inefficient, if not outright incompetent.
In the decades between now and completion, you’ll see the price rise continuously. Each time, you will be subject to the subject cost fallacy and people will say things like “but isn’t 150 billion worth it?”, “isn’t 200 billion worth it?”
People were told the 46 billion was not going to happen and all the way up to today’s 97 billion they’ve pulled these tactics. Many of the fans will think it’s worth it at 1 trillion for no reason. They won’t admit it now, but as the price rises you’ll see that no price rise will faze them.
the U.S. has become incapable of building large projects in a reasonable amount of time and budget?
The last major public project that came in near the original budget that I can recall is the San Jose Area (now SAP).
AT&T Park, Levi's Stadium (over $1 billion), and the new Warriors arena (over $1 billion) were privately funded.
I heard that it seriously depleted HQ's petty cash fund. (But seriously, these were, in fact, all-cash deals.)
When self driving cars become sufficiently trustworthy a better solution might be a hybrid: high speed self driving car lanes.
Either way, I'm not sure how much autonomy changes things. You can get luxury buses overnight for $115 overnight (https://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-tr-money-20170903-st...) already which probably beats the comfort of a car anyway - how much will not paying a driver cut costs?
I tend to disagree. You can move a lot more people more efficiently by train. The train can’t take the direct route because land is now too expensive, versus 40 years ago when the idea was first raised.
It’s unfortunate that it wasn’t built in the 1970’s because we’d now be talking about replacing it with a 350 mph maglev in 30 years.
What you're describing can already be done by calling a Lyft, albeit at slightly higher costs than a self driving car.
Or combine the two: turn trains into land ferries where the route allows, and drive road cars onto train cars on one end and off on the other.
Of course, self-driving cars don't run on fixed rails, which costs them a lot of popularity around here. People don't seem to understand that fixed rail is only good for transporting lots and lots of people, very efficiently and safely, from one place where they don't want to be to another place where they don't want to be.
But you can also build railways that make sense. See Japan for an excellent example, as well as most of Europe. These get you from where you are to where you want to be quickly and efficiently.
Ideally the sprawl is minimized for maximum efficiency (in both enhanced inter-personal cooperation, living cost) but it's hard to sell that when gas is cheap, and land is plenty.
There's another issue unique to the US, is that there is a diverse spectrum of races, income levels, and cultural groups that make it hard for these different groups to live together in a dense area peacefully (as compared to a homogenous place like Japan). Much of the inane urban planning in The US is actually a result of people just trying to prevent black people or poor people from moving into their neighborhoods.
Edit: As someone who generally likes trains I've tried to use them in California and found it pretty much impossible - but that's a problem with California not "fixed rail".
1) It's not for transportation. It's a jobs and pension program for appointees. State leaders are willing to spend $100 billion (or more) of taxpayer money for $1 billion of pork.
2) The state cannot even manage Caltrain well, which is only 50 miles long (SF to Gilroy.) There's no way they can manage a route 400 miles long.
3) Domestic airlines do a good job of intra-state travel already.
4) There was never an affordable model for building HSR. It never made any sense financially for California.
5) Residents of Palo Alto and Atherton will sue the state into oblivion if they don't bury the HSR. And the state won't because tunnelling is $2 billion per mile.
If someone isn't aware of how these free money contracts were awarded, they really don't understand the depth of the fantasy ...which Jerry Brown is almost single-handedly responsible for.
> The state cannot even manage Caltrain well
Yup. There are trains that go from San Diego up to San Fran, with transfers, mostly along the coast. It's so expensive to ride with EXISTING rail that it's running on subsidy.
Some of the comments on these multi-billion dollar scams are ridiculously positive for no apparent reason.
"Fortunately, only a small fraction of CAHSR’s projected cost—$1.4 billion out of nearly $100 billion total—has been spent so far."
This suggests that it might be possible to make major changes, or even start over from scratch, if there's a significantly better way to do it.
Like if the proposition had said "It'll probably cost $33B and take under three hours, and will be canceled if the estimated costs exceed $50B or the estimated duration exceeds 3 and a half hours."
The US however is rapidly approaching a 1 trillion deficit. And if it wants to challenge China in manufacturing they need to rebuild the entire railroad system.
Can you explain this point? The USA has a great cargo rail system that is efficient and integrated with other transportation systems.
Forty years of planned and extensive investment in infrastructure is how China lifted itself out of its misery. There was a time when the US did the same but something happened along the way.
Other than need to be shared with passenger trains, where are you getting the rest? It is certainly not true of cargo trains. How fast do you need cargo to go?
Maybe it was a bad idea to have everyone with a brain cram into med-school, law-school or b-school. There are other things that need doing.
> Connor Harris is a policy analyst at the Manhattan Institute.
Reading through their other literature, seems pretty partisan and not very objective.
Can we get a less biased source? I'm not doubting the problems of HSR or the project, it would just be nice to get someone with less of an axe to grind.
>...Consequently, there won’t be enough riders paying fares to cover operational costs. The 2008 ballot measure prohibits taxpayer subsidy of this now-planned track to nowhere. As the “father” of true high-speed rail, I regret its “horizon” isn’t now bright, unless the governor and Richard restore 2008 promises to taxpayers.