SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) –The state’s nonpartisan analyst has said the latest proposal to build a $68.4 billion high-speed train system linking Northern and Southern California is still too vague.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office on Tuesday recommended that lawmakers not approve funding this year. The analyst called the funding plan highly speculative and said “important details have not been sorted out.”

The latest business plan trimmed the cost from an estimated $98 billion last year, but leaves it well above the $45 billion estimate given to voters in 2008 when they approved selling nearly $10 billion in bonds.

The LAO recommends that lawmakers reject Gov. Jerry Brown’s request to start selling $2.6 billion in bonds to start construction.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

”We do disagree with the legislative analyst for a number of reasons,” said Dan Richards, chairman of the High-Speed Rail Authority. “In looking at the high speed rail program, everyone is trying to look at the whole enchilada all at once, but that’s not the way that transit projects are built. It’s not the way that BART has been built, or that high speed rail will be built. It’s built in pieces.”

The proposal puts completion of a 520-mile San Francisco-to-Burbank system in 2028.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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