Today, the California High-Speed Rail Authority provided a report with updated figures on the cost and progress of the construction of the High-Speed Rail project. To no surprise, the numbers continue to increase, the project continues to delay, and the promises continue to be broken. The failures are so bad that even liberal editorial boards at major newspapers have openly called for scraping the project.
The latest estimate shows the High-Speed Rail Authority line from Merced-Bakersfield has now ballooned up to $35.3 billion, up from $22.5 billion in 2022. That’s nearly a 57% increase in price in just one year!
“Recent estimates indicate the High-Speed Rail will cost $206.4 million per mile. What is it, made out of gold? We already know that this entire project has been a complete failure since it was dreamed up more than 15 years ago,” said Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego). “California is looking at a budget deficit and we have much more pressing issues that demand our attention – like tackling crime, cutting costs, acting on homelessness, and investing in students.
“The broken promises on this project are breaking the bank for Californians. It’s time to pump the brakes on the hot mess express and defund the High-Speed Rail,” concluded Leader Jones.
In a recent editorial California should cut its losses on high-speed rail, the San Jose Mercury News Editorial Board agrees with Leader Jones and lays out an argument to pump the brakes on the project:
“With each passing year, the light at the end of the tunnel for California’s high-speed rail project seems fainter…
The reality is that the project has never been realistic. Fifteen years after it was put before voters, there’s still no path to completion. Costs keep rising, and now ridership projections for the system, if it ever opens, are declining sharply.
It’s time for state and federal officials to cut their losses, to stop throwing money at a project that probably will never be finished….”
The Orange County Register Editorial Board also seems to agree in their column California’s bullet train pipe dream must end:
“The ballot summary promised a “bond issue of $9.95 billion to establish high-speed train service linking” Northern and Southern California. Except for the possible completion of the Merced-to-Bakersfield project, none of that will happen.
The project originally was promised to cost $33 billion. But the latest estimate from the High-Speed Rail Authority pegs it at $113 billion.…
… It doesn’t take much reflection to conclude there are better uses of California’s finite financial resources than a much-delayed, perpetually more expensive train project without much utility.”