California Bullet Train Will Require Subsidies

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones’ newsletters.Even I’m a little tired of my obsession with the California bullet train, but here’s the latest anyway:

The state rail authority is moving ahead with a plan to issue a massive contract for tracks and an electrical system that would enable bullet train service in the Central Valley. But when the service starts in 2028, it would lose money that the state would absorb, according to consultants for the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

In other words, it would require subsidies, despite clear language in the original bond measure that no subsidies would be allowed.
So the bullet train will cost far more than originally planned; have lower ridership than promised; extend only from Bakersfield to Merced (a “starter system”); require subsidies; and barely go fast enough to deserve the name “bullet” in the first place. Other than that, though, everything is great.

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