Some good news out of California

From Today's LA Times: High-speed train line plan may be derailed

The article suggests cutting the authority from 300 staff with 75 consulting firms under contract (of which 100 must be PR and survey firms) to 6 staff. I hope this is true, it would save the taxpayers of California a fortune on a boondoggle.

Though the article notes the line would "zip" passengers from LA to SF in 2.5 hours, this is only downtown LA and a few select stations to downtown SF (and a few select stations), unless you live on top of the stations, the access costs remain. Since one can drive the corridor in 6 hours or so, and fly it in an hour (plus 2-3 hours of access), the gains are marginal over driving (plus I need to rent a car at the other end) and negative over flying.

Furthermore, the idea that the private sector would pony up 20 billion to invest in the line is I suspect ludicrous, just look at the disaster the Public Private Partnership has been on the London Underground. One hopes (for the sake of the shareholders) firms would not be so daft as to pour good money after bad on the hopes of making money on this train.

California is not Europe and it is not Japan, and rail doesn't turn a real profit there either.

David Levinson

Network Reliability in Practice

Evolving Transportation Networks

Place and Plexus

The Transportation Experience

Access to Destinations

Assessing the Benefits and Costs of Intelligent Transportation Systems

Financing Transportation Networks

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This page contains a single entry by David Levinson published on April 28, 2007 3:58 PM.

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