Gov. Brown, Time to Cut the Losses on High Speed Rail

Morris Brown
Founder of DERAIL, a grassroots effort against the California high-speed rail Project

Governor  Brown,  it is time now to realize being remembered for High Speed Rail, will not be a venture for which you will be proud!

The California High Speed Rail project is a disaster.  Far from resembling the project approved by the voters with the passage of Prop 1A in 2008, it has morphed into only a skeleton project, not very high speed, and will not deliver on the promise, of operating without a subsidy, and delivering passengers from the San Francisco TBT to LA Union Station in 2 hours and 40 minutes at a cost of $33 billion. All of this was to be completed by 2020.

No indeed, the New Business Plan now shows only a commuter line that will go from San Jose to about 20 miles north of Bakersfield. The cost is over $20 billion, will not go into service before 2025, and will exhaust all available funding. 

Now even the funding for this skeleton section is in jeopardy.  Cap and Trade revenues, were to provide for at least one-half the cost of this new plan.  The May 2016 auction of Cap and Trade allowances just completed was a complete disaster.

The Auction was expected to generate around $600M in revenues; the auction produced only $10M.  Complete funding from even this short skeleton of the project is now “dead in the water”.

It is way past time now, Governor Brown, to face reality. There is no new Federal funding on the horizon. There is no private equity funding on the horizon. Now even Cap and Trade funding can not to be relied upon.

Come on Governor.  Cut the losses  — stop the project.

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