By: capoliticalreview – excerpt
It takes a long time for folks to admit they were scammed. Arnold, the unions and crony capitalists lied to Californians to gain support of Prop. 1A, the bond measure to give $10 billion to one of the biggest scams in American history. He finally admitted he lied about the cost, route and ridership. The people believed the actor, who was very convincing…
By James Poulos : calwatchdog – excerpt
California’s beleaguered high-speed rail project has hit yet another speed bump: a loss of confidence among Southern California officials already left hanging by plans that shifted first-stage construction northward.
“The California rail authority’s failure to identify a source of funding to connect Los Angeles to the future bullet train system is not acceptable, said Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Southern California Assn. of Governments,” according to the Los Angeles Times. “Until the high-speed rail authority released a new draft business plan last month, the state had planned to open its first operating segment between Burbank and the Central Valley by 2022. But in a major concession to its limited funding, the plan now calls for a cheaper segment that would run from San Jose to the Central Valley by 2025.”
The catch, SCAG discovered, is that costs imposed by completing the initial segment will ensure that “all the existing funds would be exhausted, leaving uncertainty about how and when the line would ever cross the geologically complex mountains of Southern California,” as the paper added.
The changes have accelerated criticism of the floundering effort — among Democrats as well as Republicans. “California lawmakers expressed dissatisfaction Monday with a plan to change the direction of a $64 billion high-speed railway,” the Associated Press noted… (more)
By Katie Orr, : KQED – excerpt
A California Senate committee got its chance today to take a closer look at the status of the state’s high-speed rail project. The High-Speed Rail Authority recently released a draft business plan.
At the hearing, High-Speed Rail Authority Chair Dan Richard said construction on the first segment was shifted from a southern route between the Central Valley and Los Angeles to a northern route between the Central Valley and San Jose because it was less expensive and could generate significant private investment. But he says the train needs to be running to attract investors.
“They’re looking for that first operating line,” he says.
The Rail Authority estimates it will cost about $20 billion to build the northern route, which Richard says could generate $8 billion to $10 billion in private investment. He said the segment could be operational by 2025.
But while the Rail Authority was touting the progress being made on the project, senators of both parties expressed concerns about financing. Republican Jim Nielsen says the evolution of the project make him uneasy.
“There have been so many changes, how can we find comfort?” he asked. “It seems like it’s almost careening down the tracks.”… (more)