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Sev
06-04-2012, 06:35 PM
California never ceases to amaze.
The land of fruits and nuts.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnew...to-nowhere.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9310511/Buyers-remorse-for-Californias-bullet-train-to-nowhere.html)

<span style='font-size: 23pt'>Buyers' remorse for California's 'bullet train to nowhere' </span>

Ambitious plans for a fast track linking Los Angeles and San Francisco at speeds of up to 220mph in just over two-and-a-half hours were slimly approved by 53 per cent in a statewide ballot in 2008. That allowed the state to raise $10 billion from bonds and secured an injection of $3.5 billion in stimulus money from the Obama administration. There is currently no direct train route between the two.

Construction is expected to begin later this year in the middle of California's Central Valley near Merced, a town of 80,000 people known for having one of the highest home foreclosure rates in America.

The plan calls for around 300 miles of track to be laid south from there over the next 10 years to reach the northern outskirts of Los Angeles. A northern link from the Central Valley to San Francisco would not be completed until 2028.

The project is still $54.9 billion short of what is needed, raising fears that the state will be unable to find the funds to finish later sections, and could be left with a futuristic rail line linking minor cities and farming communities.
<span style="color: #990000"><span style='font-size: 17pt'>
Amid disillusion over the cost and handling of the project, voters have now turned against what was supposed to become a symbol of state pride.
A new poll shows almost three fifths would oppose the bullet train and halt public borrowing if given another chance to vote.
Almost seven in 10 said that, if the train ever does run between Los Angeles and San Francisco, they would "never or hardly ever" use it.</span></span>

Not a single person said they would use it more than once a week, and only 33 per cent said they would prefer the bullet train over a one hour plane journey or seven hour drive. The cost of a ticket, estimated at $123 each way, also put many off. Jerry Brown, California's Democrat governor, has championed the project as a way to create jobs and is backed by unions. The 74-year-old governor has been personally committed to a high speed rail link since the 1970s.

But he is trying to convince voters to spend billions on a train while at the same time proposing tax increases and austere public spending cuts, including a five per cent pay cut for state workers, to deal with a budget deficit that has ballooned to $16 billion.

California's politicians have until Aug 31 to give a final green light to an initial $6 billion, 130-mile section of track in the Central Valley, and they are expected to approve it. Only a simple majority vote is needed in the Democrat controlled legislature.

Jim Nielsen, the Republican vice chairman of the state's Assembly Budget Committee, who opposes the project, called it "an idea that gets worse the more information we get about it." In April the state's own Legislative Analyst's Office called the funding plan vague and speculative.

Supporters say the California economy, the world's ninth largest, will recover in the long run and the remaining money will be found from private investors, the federal government and fees from the state's cap-and-trade programme to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

They say the rail line will prove crucial to the state's economic future, linking north and south as airports and freeways reach capacity. But critics suggest the money will dry up and the state will instead be left with an "orphan track" linked to neither major city.

Dan Schnur, Director of the Unruh Institute of Politics, who carried out the recent poll, said: "The growing budget deficit is making Californians hesitant about spending so much money on a project like this one when they're seeing cuts to public education and law enforcement."

<span style="color: #990000"><span style='font-size: 17pt'>There was also disillusion with the handling of the project so far. It was initially projected to cost $45 billion and deliver passengers between the two major cities in a few hours by 2020.

Last autumn the state-run California High-Speed Rail Authority, which is overseeing it, disclosed the cost had more than doubled to $98.5 billion with a finish date of 2033.</span></span>

After an outcry $30 billion was shaved off that estimate, but only by reducing the speed of the trains and using sections of existing slow track.

The authority is also facing legal challenges from those whose land the track will have to cross.

Last week agricultural groups filed a major environmental lawsuit asking for a preliminary injunction to block construction.

Unless building begins shortly there is also a risk of losing federal funds. The federal government has set a deadline of September 2017 for finishing the first section of track.

eg8r
06-05-2012, 06:26 AM
We have something similar happening here in central Florida. A giant waste of money for a train that will not be used by the locals it was supposed to help.

eg8r

Sev
06-06-2012, 05:43 PM
You cant put a price on good intentions.

cushioncrawler
06-07-2012, 02:30 AM
Ideas.

Hav one company building track from one end, and another company from the other end, stopping where they meet.

Allso, last time, thousands of chineze workers made all the difference. This time uze millions of chineze.
mac.

Gayle in MD
06-07-2012, 06:04 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Ideas.

Hav one company building track from one end, and another company from the other end, stopping where they meet.

Allso, last time, thousands of chineze workers made all the difference. This time uze millions of chineze.
mac. </div></div>

We should be rebuilding our dangerous and crumbling infrastructure, all over this country, AND checkerboarding the entire mainland of the U.S. with highspeed rail.

Republicans continue to scream and cry, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, but the party of "The deficits don't matter" blocks every single thing that could create jobs that cannot be outsourced, reduce climate change, end the welfare for the wealthy, end corporate loopholes, end corporate subsidies for corporations that are making out of sight, profits, and fight corporate corruption.

IOW, Repubs are re-creating a twenty-first century, American Hooverville, from coast to coast.

As usual, the right is always against everything that is in their own, and our own, best financial interests.
That's how we got into this mess in the first place....still waiting for the trickle from the Bush Tax cuts that never showed up!

What do you call Republican Trickle Down Economics?

The wealthy peeing on all the rest of us.

T.D.E. never has worked, never will work, and they want more of it yet!

Colossally deceitful and corrupt.

G.

Time to quit Mitt Mutt $hit quick!

Sev
06-07-2012, 06:10 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Ideas.

Hav one company building track from one end, and another company from the other end, stopping where they meet.

Allso, last time, thousands of chineze workers made all the difference. This time uze millions of chineze.
mac. </div></div>

Millions of illegal Mexicans Mac. Mexicans.

Sev
06-07-2012, 06:13 AM
The government should have been continually maintaining the infrastructure of the nation rather than stealing the money allocated to such projects.
As usual the government fails.
Just as it has failed with maintaining and upgrading our power grid.

Both parties of guilty of bringing the nation to this point.

eg8r
06-07-2012, 08:48 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Republicans continue to scream and cry, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, but the party of "The deficits don't matter" blocks every single thing that could create jobs that cannot be outsourced,</div></div>I am not against high speed rail if it can be used but the only people that really will be using it in Central Fl are going to be the tourists. The debt will never be paid off and the prices will be sky high.

eg8r

Gayle in MD
06-07-2012, 09:03 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Sev</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The government should have been continually maintaining the infrastructure of the nation rather than stealing the money allocated to such projects.
As usual the government fails.
Just as it has failed with maintaining and upgrading our power grid.

Both parties of guilty of bringing the nation to this point. </div></div>

LOL, I don't think so.

As Bill Maher likes to say:

"Republicans are always telling us that government doesn't work, then they get into office, and prove it!

The Bush Regime did nothing about the infrastructure throughout their tenure.

That wasn't true of Clinton's administration, nor of Democratic majorities, except the brief two years under Pelosi's leadership of the House.

I have also noticed during my travels, when I drive south, the roads are a mess! I hear the same thing from friends of mine who live in southern states, especially those who are snow birds, in Florida.

We may have high taxes here in MD. but our highways, and bridges, are in pretty good shape, AND since Obama has bee in office, I am passing fields of solar panels, on my way to the Ocean, annd seeing road construction everywhere, most of it with those highway signs, linking the construction to the stimulus.



G.