Tuesday, January 26, 2010

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.


Sweet Cashback said...

Monumental FIRST!!!!!

Agent #777 said...

Rob, you were paying for this? You are more generous than I thought!

And I call the first FIRST of the resumption of this blog - sweet!

Agent #777 said...

Drat! What a tragic miss...

Sweet Cashback said...

This was my best first yet.....after such a long wait + eye candy.

Rob Dawg said...

Wow, three weeks and the firsts are seconds apart.

Mr. Outspoken said...

Boy, I'd love to pull a train on that eye-candy.

Bill in NC said...

Cheaper to convert buses to run on (relatively) clean natural gas,

and charge $10 one way fare for the next 50 years than to spend $50 billion on passenger rail.

Shoot, it'd be cheaper to convert those buses to battery power and recharge them solely from renewables.

Zintradi said...

This is just like our much ballyhooed Sound Transit Light rail In seattle...

Came in WAY over budget, Astronomically behind schedule and about 10 miles shorter than originally proposed (we voted on this stupid thing in 1994 and half of the proposed length opened last year)
The only difference is that public officials refuse to admit there's anything wrong with this picture even though only a few people ride it every day.

H Simpson said...


South Coast rail project to link New Bedford to Boston has been offically killed. This is yet another knife in the back of Gov Patrick. Feds said no stimulus money for this project which the locals were trying to get the Feds to eat most of (aka another big dig).

This boondoggle goes back 20 years with many towns along the way not wanting it in the first place. Also the price went from 136M to 2 billion dollars (and not even in real costs).

Mass was told to go away. Only the pinheads in New Bedford want it.

Saves yet more taxpayer money that was going to have to be kicked in by the locals.