Jerry Brown’s choo-choo, er, high-speed train was already going nowhere fast even at an astronomical cost, but now the California governor is finding out that his “bullet train” might be going nowhere, period.
Brown’s latest opposition, ironically, came from his own side of the political spectrum–California’s well-funded and ultra-aggressive environmentalists. They won a federal court decision on Wednesday that barred Brown and the high-speed rail authority to circumvent the state’s environmental laws to expedite the construction of the rail line.
The high-speed rail project was already massively in disarray and behind schedule even before Wednesday’s court ruling, but now it appears that Brown’s boondoggle should be abandoned once and for all before it costs California (and American) taxpayers another dime.
When California’s voters were snookered into approving Proposition 1A in 2008 for a $9 billion bond for the rail project, they were promised that the train would travel at a minimum of 200 mph, go between San Francisco and Los Angeles in no more than 2 hours and 40 minutes, be completed in 2024, and financially self-sustaining, with operation and maintenance costs fully covered by revenue.
None of those conditions will ever be met even if the rail project is ever completed–chances are, mankind will land on Mars before this pipe dream is realized. The project is already seven years behind schedule with an estimated cost now escalating to over $68 billion. The Obama administration had diverted $4 billion in federal funding to the project but after the Republican takeover of congress in 2014, there is little chance that California will be getting any more money from Capitol Hill anytime soon.