The high-speed rail in California is a disastrous project that, once again, made headlines. The Los Angeles Times broke the story that top California Democratic legislators agreed to divert billions in remaining bullet-train funds to the Los Angeles region and the San Francisco Bay Area rail systems. “The move is a response to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan earlier this year to direct all of the remaining bullet train funds into the San Joaquin Valley and build a partial high-speed system from Bakersfield to Merced at a cost of $20.5 billion,” the article read.
This project began over a decade ago and has yet to make substantial progress all while wasting taxpayer money. Not to mention, the high-speed rail project turned into a political fight that needs closure by putting an end to the high-speed rail train once and for all.
But here in California, we have another similar project that needs its funding pulled. It’s section 2 of the L.A. Metro Purple Line extension. From the start, this project has been a boondoggle that’s wasted taxpayer money and put residents in harm’s way.
It’s projected that the Purple Line extension is already $400 million over budget, at a minimum. This exorbitant cost, which may continue to increase if the project continues, will ultimately hit the taxpayer’s pocketbook. Residents in California are tired of watching these wasteful projects fail to come to fruition, all while still footing the bill for it.
If the waste of taxpayer money isn’t enough to concern our state’s lawmakers, the dangerous hazards stemming from the construction should. The original plan presented to the public was a farce. Construction of the Purple Line extension is now underway (800 feet away from the public right of way), directly on the fence line of Beverly Hills High School. Students just started their new school year this August and the noise pollution from the construction site is a serious concern that may hinder their ability to focus on academics. But more importantly, the real concern is that since the Purple Line moved location sites, the tunneling will occur through unmapped oil fields that contain harmful methane gas, below the high school. This is a very serious problem for the safety, health, and well-being of students, parents, teachers, and even nearby residents.
Lisa Korbatov, a local resident and conservative leader, has been a vocal opponent of the Purple Line Extension via the “Stop the Purple Threat” campaign, with the goal of protecting Beverly Hills High School students. The Purple Line’s Section 2 extension, just like the high-speed bullet train, are boondoggles that continually fail to benefit California residents. But how do we remedy this situation? President Donald Trump and his Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao have the authority to pull funding from the Purple Line. The President has been steadfast in protecting the American people by cutting red tape, boosting our economy, and pulling funding from wasteful projects and pulling funding from the Purple Line seems like a great next step.