Funding challenges cloud high-speed rail's future
Original post made on Nov 12, 2013
Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 9:50 AM
on Nov 12, 2013 at 12:29 pm
IAW the SF Chronicle 11.12.13 "Land Acquisition for bullet train low speed so far" the eminent domain acquisitions for land are focusing on the Merced to Fresno segment. Assume the next segment would be Fresno to Bakersfield which is the busiest transition point for rail systems in the valley corridor. The acquisition of land via eminent domain and lease back is the mechanism for providing the funding. They cannot project when they will break ground.
This same funding mechanism was projected for the Maybell project - build 12 homes at market price to fund the senior housing. This is the same funding mechanism or the SF Warriors stadium - they need to build the two condominium towers to fund the cost of the stadium. How that funding mechanism plays in the peninsula corridor appears to focus on the San Antonio to Oregon Expressway portion - the CC's preference.
San Mateo currently has a large housing project that was previously the race track that is next to the Caltran tracks - the train featured in their ads. San Carlos is currently attempting to approve a massive housing project - 8 city blocks along the Caltran corridor. Assume that eminent domain will not be exercised where there are currently large projects being built on the peninsula corridor. These new developments define the ability to install HSR on the peninsula corridor. Mountain View has the Lite Rail at the Caltran station so the lower end of the valley is defined by the existing transportation systems.
The heavy development on the corridor suggests that HSR will not use the corridor if it cannot fund via eminent domain.
Suggest that the city not overreach for expensive consulting fees as it could be a waste of money. We are not defining the HSR corridor - the other cites with large developments are defining the limitations of HSR within the corridor end to end. San Francisco and the Transportation Center will also define the HSR route.
on Nov 12, 2013 at 1:17 pm
The $68 billion price tag does not include the interest payments on the debt during the 20 year buildout (this has been verified by the California Legislative Analyst's Office). I estimate that the interest payments will add about 40% to the cost and that's not the inevitable cost overruns. I say let us just run a Maxibus operation up and down the state and save $100 billion.
on Nov 13, 2013 at 7:23 am
The shallow, parochial Nimby's in Palo Alto are an embarrassment to California. If these nitwits had ever traveled outside their suburban wasteland, they would know high speed rail is highly successful in Europe and Asia. Most of the world's top 20 industrialized nations are building high speed rail. Even Saudi Arabia, the world's leading oil exporter, is building high speed rail. The airline lobby in California is fighting high speed rail tooth and nail, since the airline lobby knows how successful high speed rail has been in Europe, killing short-haul airline routes. Now everyone takes the Chunnel from London to Paris.