Some people are calling it "the train to nowhere"... though Governor Jerry Brown would certainly object to that... KTTV Vice President and General Manager Kevin Hale takes a look at why California's high speed rail project may have gone off-track, in this POV.
You can watch the full video of the editorial in the media player... and share your comments on the topic below the editorial transcript.
Full Editorial Text:
It's been four years since Californians voted to fund $9 billion in state bonds to authorize a high-speed rail project, and now people have buyer's remorse.
The proposed bullet train would run from San Francisco to L.A., and from Sacramento to San Diego upon its completion a decade from now, but our state is billions in debt, and we simply can't afford to pay on these bonds.
New polls indicate voters have turned on the project. It's one thing if these bonds were to be used for an emergency, but a high-speed rail isn't an emergency and at this point, its relevance is questionable at best.
One study after another reveals nearly every aspect of the project is flawed and enormously expensive.
The latest bad news comes from a group of transportation experts, headed by Former Caltrans chief Will Kempton, who tells lawmakers to put the brakes on the entire project.
Cost estimates have tripled since voters approved the rail in 2008 to $98 billion, and according to Kempton, all current available funding would be blown on a small stretch of track in the Central Valley, with merely the hopes of seeing more money down the road.
That's no way for our state to conduct business.
I'm throwing my support behind State Senator Doug LaMalfa, a Republican from Richvale, who's proposing legislation that would allow voters to recast their ballot on this project.
Governor Brown, who still supports the high-speed rail, needs a reality check. Why waste money on a project that we can never actually afford to complete?
I urge him to stop the spending now.
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The views expressed are not necessarily those of the station or its employees.