California Train to Nowhere: Gov. Newsom CANCELS $100 Billion Boondoggle!
For over a decade, California’s High Speed Rail has caused major headaches and contentions as the price skyrocketed and complications created a quagmire!
California’s new Governor, Gavin Newsom, has put a stop to the huge project, stating that there “isn’t a path” for completing the project.
“Let’s be real,” Newsom said. “The project, as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long . . . Right now, there simply isn’t a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A. I wish there were.”
The project’s cost and scope have long been a source of controversy. In 2018, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has estimated the project’s year-of-expenditure cost at $77.3 billion and up to $98.1 billion.
Instead of the full San Francisco to Los Angeles masterpiece, California will instead complete just the 171-mile segment started in the Central Valley from from Bakersfield to Merced.
Newsom said the state risked having to return $3.5 billion in federal money if building stops on the Central Valley leg or it doesn’t complete the environmental reviews.
The boondoggle started in 1996 when the CHSRA was established to begin formal planning in preparation for a ballot measure in 1998 or 2000. Finally, in 2008, California voters approved the issuance of $9 billion in bonds for high speed rail in Proposition 1A.
The timeline that ensues after that is a long story of more and more money, coming from both the California taxpayer ans well as the rest of us through the federal government.
The Obama administration awarded the state a total of $3.5 billion in 2010 and California voters in 2008 approved nearly $10 billion in bond proceeds.
The roughly 520-mile line initially was first estimated to cost $33 billion and was pegged for completion in 2020. Officials eventually hoped to connect the line to San Diego and Sacramento.
Subsequent estimates more than doubled the cost to $98 billion and pushed the timeline to 2033.
Newsom rejected the idea that his plan would create a “train to nowhere”, but I was born and raised in California and lived most of my life between Bakersfield and Merced…
Believe me, it is going to be a train to nowhere!
But at least Newsom was honest! Check this out:
“Abandoning high-speed rail entirely means we will have wasted billions and billions of dollars with nothing but broken promises, partially filled commitments and lawsuits to show for it,” Newsom said. “And by the way, I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding that was allocated to this project back to Donald Trump.”
Let me explain Newsom… that is the people’s money. Not your money and not Donald Trump’s money. That is our money you are messing with! He says he will continue to push for more federal funding and private dollars. I have a pretty clear idea he will not see much more!
A state audit issued in November said California’s High‑Speed Rail Authority’s “flawed decision making and poor contract management have contributed to billions in cost overruns and delays.”
The governor also said he will name his economic development director, Lenny Mendonca, to chair the High-Speed Rail Authority, and vowed new transparency and to hold contractors and consultants accountable to explain how tax dollars are spent.
“I’m not interested in making the same old mistakes,” Newsom said.
We will see!