I still lean toward support of this project, which woud be a great enhancement of California tranportation options, but man, the costs are getting out of hand, as this article from the Modesto Bee reports.
Jerry Brown did not invent the idea of a high-speed rail system to connect Northern and Southern California.
It was voted on by the state Legislature and ratified by voters years before he returned to the governor’s office in 2011. But for the last eight years, as cost estimates have skyrocketed and federal and private sector funding for the project has evaporated, Brown has become high-speed rail’s most persistent defender.
Only weeks away from the election to replace him, neither candidate for governor appears to share the depth of Brown’s commitment to a statewide rail system.
Fellow Democrat Gavin Newsom only talks about it under duress, and has indicated that he would adopt a much more gradual and incremental approach. Republican John Cox wants to scrap it altogether. Polling shows that public support has dropped considerably since Californians voted to authorize the project 10 years ago.
As a result of the changing circumstances, several of the California Influencers, a group of policy and political experts, advise Brown’s successor to proceed with caution.
“The next governor should conduct a soup-to-nuts project review to re-evaluate the project’s current projected costs and whether those costs are outweighed by the project’s intended benefits,” said University of California President Janet Napolitano, who noted many of the project’s potential economic and quality-of-life advantages. “Such a review would improve the public’s confidence in high speed rail.
“In short, the next governor should take a deep breath, have a project review conducted, and then decide whether to proceed.” she said.
Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, also raised questions about the project’s financial requirements.
“The key question a new governor will need to ask about high-speed rail is about how to find the funding necessary for completion,” Guardino said. “The dollars need to match the deal, and high-speed rail is a really big deal that needs really big dollars.”
Retrieved October 16, 2018 from https://www.modbee.com/news/politics-government/influencers/article219943105.html