The Little Choo-Choo That Couldn't
California High Speed Rail died recently and no one noticed. The CAHSR authority finally made the first of a long series of confessions that the service will be less and price higher than was sold to the voters 18 months ago in a narrow bond approval vote.
The new plan calls for a one-way charge of $105, about 83 percent of the $125 the rail authority predicts airfares will run in 2035. That near-doubling of prospective fares from the 2008 $55 would reduce expected ridership by almost one-third.
Prices up, ridership down. Quelle surprise.
But don't be discouraged. There's a new blog out there where CAHSR is not only alive but so perfect only apostates can dare deny its beauty: CAHSRblog.com
If it weren't my money the whole debacle would be sad. As it is it is a travesty.
The updated cost estimate for the San Francisco‐to‐Anaheim initial high‐speed rail system is $42.6 billion [pdf file] in year‐of‐expenditure dollars.
State funding: $9 billion from Proposition 1A (used to leverage additional investment)
Federal funding: $17‐19 billion (ARRA, other federal loan programs, transportation appropriations)
Local funding: $4‐5 billion (in right‐of‐way, parking fees, transit‐oriented developments, contributions)
Private funding: $10‐12 billion (public‐private partnerships, vendor financing, availability payments, etc.)
Total: $45 billion
Not. Fed funding will never exceed the $9b State contribution and private funding to date has been zero. There's no reason for private interests to fund HSR. It has no commercial value. And the "local funding" is just a joke. Bakersfield is not going to invoke Eminient Domain to cover CAHSRs accounting ass.