Point of View: High speed rail changing course

After four years of promising that the so-called bullet train would be built between Merced and Burbank by 2022, the ill-fated High Speed Rail is changing course.

Now, as if everything they said meant nothing, the rail authority is putting the southern route on hold. Construction will now go north from Fresno to San Jose. It has been obvious for years that there was never enough money to get to Burbank. And now the Rail Authority has, in effect, admitted it.

The fact is the story is the same. There is simply not enough money to get to San Jose from Fresno. By its own estimate that route will cost $20 billion. Unfortunately, all that is available is 10 billion. The rest is supposed to come from Cap and Trade money.

Fat chance.

The San Jose leg is supposed to be completed by 2025. The Cap and Trade program, however, will end by 2020, causing a shortfall of billions of dollars. There is a very high probability that there's enough legislators opposed to continuing cap and trade that would keep it from getting the support needed for renewal

As a result, a large portion of the funding for the bullet train would suddenly be unavailable.
Once again, there is no evidence this shortfall can be covered by the private sector or the Federal government. With no more money, construction will have to stop. Potentially, Californians will have therefore spent billions of dollars for nothing.. again leaving miles of pretty much useless track.

Governor Brown, stop the madness. Put an end to the bullet train. Use the billions for needed roads and water projects. Californians will thank you for years to come.

Thanks for listening.
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