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Budget Deal Could Jeopardize Bay Area High Speed Rail

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Funding for high speed rail, which remains uncertain, could be further jeopardized by the budget deal that avoided default.

Even though construction of California’s 800-mile high speed rail project is scheduled to begin next year, a lot of questions remain. Moody’s senior economist Eduardo Martinez said that he thinks the project is a prime target for a funding cut.

”High speed rail is not universally accepted in this country, or in California in its current form. There are a lot of concerns with cost overruns,” said Martinez. “And in the Bay Area alone there are a lot of concerns over pathways – whether it’s going to go through the Peninsula or the East Bay. So that makes it a prime target.”

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

However, former high speed rail board member Rod Diridon said that cuts in the budget bill signed by the president won’t impact the project.

”The funds that came out of the stimulus program and the first year of special appropriation for high speed rail are under contract. Those can’t be cut because they’re committed by contract to local projects,” said Diridon.

Fifteen billion dollars in federal funds will be needed to completely build out the system.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Mike Colgan
  • Mark

    Good! Kill it before it multiplies! This is a boondoggle, which would eventually end up costing California billions of dollars in construction and ongoing operational and maintenance costs. Good riddance to bad rubbish!

  • smketr

    I agree with Mark. This is another Amtrak to nowhere. Terminate, Terminate.Terminate.

  • Florez

    California Treasurer Bill Lockyer, the California politician responsible for selling these CAHSR bonds, said on March 14, 2011 to an LA news reporter that no one is interested in buying CA HSR bonds because the CAHSR is more interested in issuing bad PR, rather than coming up with a sound business plan. Until there is a sound business plan, or even a half-baked one, then no one will invest in this stinker of a project. Interviewer asks: “so are investors saying we’re interested, but it doesn’t look like you guys [CAHSR Authority] know what you’re doing” & Lockyer responds: “that’s what they’re saying”; Interviewer: “what do you think?” & Lockyer responds: “well, I think the same thing.” Lockyer also says “we don’t have a [business] plan that makes sense” and “I don’t think the State of California can sell these bonds”, and even though voters authorized the bonds, the bonds don’t need to be sold and the project can be cancelled in 2011 or 2012. – see interview here:

  • Keen Observer

    I agree with Mark,too. Now is the time to pull the plug on this train wreck.

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