Almanac

Viewpoint - November 16, 2011

Letter: High-speed rail, the grand swindle

We have been swindled

The passage of Proposition 1A in November 2008 authorizing almost $10 billion in state bonds to create a high-speed rail link between San Francisco and Los Angeles is now clearly shown to be a grand swindle.

Not only were the voters swindled into passing the proposition but the Legislature was swindled into passing and allowing Prop. 1A to ever appear on the ballot.

In 2008 the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) promoted the project saying the cost would be $32 billion. The just released business plan now says the cost will be $98.5 billion.

In 2008, we were told a trip from LA to SFO would be two hours and 40 minutes.  Under the new plan, the trip will take at least 4 hours and more likely 5 to 6 hours.  In 2008 we were told ridership would be 117 million passengers per year; now the number is reduced to at most 35 million.

In 2008 we were told we could go from LA to SF by the year 2020; now we are told it won't be until 2032.

And so the list goes on and on.  The CHSRA has been a rogue agency, making promises that cannot be kept. The CHSRA promised private investment, yet currently no private equity has appeared.

It is time to stop this project. The Legislature has the power to cut funding from the project.  This was the action recommended by the LAO and should be immediately implemented.

Morris Brown, Stone Pine Lane, Menlo Park

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