Skip to comments.CA: High-speed rail price tag soars again, this time on pace to surpass $60 billion
Posted on 08/10/2011 9:12:03 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
For the second time since voters approved California's massive bullet train project, the state on Tuesday raised the total price tag for the first stretch by several billion dollars -- and now the cost for the entire rail line is on pace to skyrocket to an eye-popping $60 billion to $80 billion or even more.
The latest estimates put the cash-strapped state even further behind in bankrolling its biggest, and one of its most polarizing, public works plans ever, as California struggles to secure funds from shy investors and broke governments. Still, project officials are ramping up to spend billions of dollars to break ground on the rail line in the Central Valley next year and hope to find the rest of the money to pay for the system later. It's a plan state leaders look increasingly likely to veto.
"It could be well into $60 billion, and who knows where it ends. This is really very serious and needs to stop in its tracks," said state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, chairman of the Senate committee overseeing the project. "We can't just be acting as if someone's out there giving us wheelbarrows full of money, and it's just coming. This is not the way we should be operating."
The California High-Speed Rail Authority's new cost estimates released Tuesday show the initial stretch of construction between Merced and Bakersfield will cost $10 billion to $13.9 billion depending on how it's built. Project planners had previously pegged the section at $6.8 billion.
If the cost of the entire project balloons at the same pace as the Central Valley section, the San Francisco-to-Anaheim railroad would cost from $63 billion to $87 billion, .. And those figures do not include inflation, which could push the final cost toward a staggering $100 billion.
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
This puppy will cost closer to 100 Billion and would likely exceed that figure.
Nothing gets built for this state at the original estimate.. Nothing.
It will be a trillion dollars before it’s over.
whatta waste of money.
Follow the money. Some politicians are already skimming money on this.
It’s a good thing California is in such good financial shape and has billions of extra dollars sitting around to be able to afford this kind of luxury. .... oh wait!
California is BROKE! what the heck are they doing spending a dime on this kind of crud.
AHH !! Finally something to knock Boston’s “BIG DIG “ off the top of the list of boondoggles.
When even Dumbocrats can see the obvious problem we know the tide has finally turned.
I can just imagine the droves of people that will be waiting in line to go between those two cities. $10 billion to compete with a trip that would take 3 hours by car. The biggest issues with high speed rail in this country is going to be the ease of car travel and the expense of segregating high speed rail from everything around it. You are going to have to put fencing around it to keep the meth heads from stealing parts of the track. You will also need to build overpasses for every road and then put fencing on those to keep the yutes from throwing things off the overpasses onto the high speed trains.
If they get it done they will have the same problem with ongoing operating costs.
The busybodies in OK want to build high speed rail between Tulsa and OKC. Some people never get tired of thinking up ways to spend other people’s money.
That’s a nice round figure. No small thinking about mere billions here, billions there, just a straight trillion.
I like it!
No, no, no, no, you don’t understand, the more expensive it is, the better.
The only error here is to have these estimates come out BEFORE it is begun. THAT is an error. Because once it is begun, all manner of legal constraints that force CA to pay 2x the actual cost should the project be cancelled will be enacted by a corrupt legislature and so it will from then on be cheaper to complete it rather than cancel it no matter how expensive.
Anyone who thinks this project will recover 1/5th of its costs is to be commended for supporting CA’s economy by smoking very high quality marijuana, unless, that is, it was grown out of state.
At least the tunnel is being used by thousands every day and where else can you get a free car wash as well?
Well, sir, there's nothing on earth
Like a genuine,
What'd I say?
What's it called?
That's right! Monorail!
I hear those things are awfully loud...
It glides as softly as a cloud.
Is there a chance the track could bend?
Not on your life, my Hindu friend.
What about us brain-dead slobs?
You'll all be given cushy jobs.
Were you sent here by the devil?
No, good sir, I'm on the level.
The ring came off my pudding can.
Take my pen knife, my good man.
I swear it's Springfield's only choice...
Throw up your hands and raise your voice!
What's it called?
But Main Street's still all cracked and broken...
Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken!
I'll take "Even More" for $150 Billion Alex.
And a great big "Thank you" to Governor Rick Scott for telling the feds to take their $2 billion and shove it cause we don't need a high speed rail line from Tampa to Orlando because it will cost more than that and taxpayers will have to subsidize it in perpetuity.
Voters approve $33 billion for the project...
Costs rise to between $60 to $80 billion, and the project continues without need for another approval.
It’s now projected it may cost as much as $100 billion total, and yet there is no mechanism to return this to the people for continued approval.
This is absolutely nuts. Let me guess, it’s more jobs for Democrats and will stimulate the economy, while burdening taxpayers still further at a time when we have record unemployment, and businesses fleeing the state in droves.
Welcome to what passes for Democrat (Leftist/Marxist) utopia.
He’s a VERY liberal Democrat, too. They’re starting to get the message that we don’t even have a penny left to spend on this crap, let alone $60-80 billion.
The money’s just plain gone.
I think buses would be a better idea. How many buses could you buy for 60 billion? Put televisions on the buses, give them wi-fi, maybe a refreshment vending machine, and they would become really attractive.
It’s not going to be built. No way. Unless the initial construction is paid 100% by federal funds.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot . . .
They already have the turnpike. They’d have to shut that down to get enough riders to exceed 10 riders. Let me guess, the idea came from Democratic lawmakers from the Tulsa area who will then get a “ride for free” pass, since they are lawmakers.
At this point, it would almost make more sense to build separate HOV lanes on the interstate reserved for self-guiding automated buses that run at 120+ mph. Probably cheaper and much much more innovative.
No mention of the millions already spent on environazi orgs to do their “studies” of the effect on sand flies and desert rats.
The state is being run by complete morons.
“build separate HOV lanes”
No, use existing lanes. Increased bus ridership will decrease the number of vehicles on the roads.
Another thought: allow “jitneys” which I think are independently run buses, vans, etc. Right now the regulated public transportation organizations keep out these independents. That establishment would tell us that the independent transporters would be too dangerous.
This news accompanies the article that details how California took in too little tax revenue recently.
Sounds like time for massive tax hikes on businesses and citizens because, obviously they’re not paying their fair share.
There used to be, until I think about 1970, a guy who used to dynamite a portion of the california aquaduct in one of the valleys impoverished of water. The theory was he was a displaced farmer who lost his land due to no water in the 30’s after it was syphoned off. I cannot wait for the new vigilante to show up after this albatross is built. I hope they put scoring rings on it too as it would make a great moving target.
This is such CRAP. It was sold to the voters as self-supporting, not as a taxpayer supported entity. It was sold as a rail line between LA and Sacramento, not a rail line someplace out in the farmlands. It was to be an initial investment of $10 billion and the rest would be picked up by investors. Now it is waaaaaay more and rising.
Foul. Crap. BS. What more can we say. Kill this monster and put us out of our misery.
I don’t think the whole thing will be, but you watch as at least one section is built. The San Fran link would seem to be a sure bet. What Democrat in California could resist that?
It does seem that even some Democrats in the state think this is too big a pill to swallow though. Good for them, at least with regard to this matter.
What percentage of that will be paid with federal funds?
More like a billion dollars a mile.
CA has what, about 30,000,000 people?
So this amounts to 2,000 dollars for every single person in CA?
Where the heck they gonna get that kind of money?
Seriously, isn’t it time yet for these politicians to get their heads out of their asses?
Glad we turned down the Fed’ s billions for our 80 mile rail system to Disney World. The dems are still complaining about the money we LOST when our governor said no to the FREE money. I think some of the money went to IL and CA...thank you Gov.Scott of FL.
I’m sorry to say that there are many Chamber of Commerce types and others who would call themselves Republicans who think they can plan an economy and spend other people’s money for the “public good”. I don’t know how we ever let politicians get away with this economic development nonsense that employs a bunch of bureaucratic planners to pick winners and losers in business. It’s a gussied up version of the Soviet 5-year plans, and it always fails! Let the free market work!
As for the high speed rail, it seems everybody wants one these days. I have also heard of a proposal for one between OKC and Dallas. The promoters claim that it will bring benefits to all the little towns in between. Huh? If the dang thing stops at every little town, then in what way is it high speed?
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot indeed.
Free money is never free money if its got strings attached,if you have to spend 10$ for every one given....then you are still going to end up quite broke.