Don't Fund California's High Speed Rail, Says Review Committee

A 'peer review' committee advises that the legislature should refuse to authorize funding for the first phase of California's high speed rail project, citing a "immense financial risk" for the state.
January 6, 2012, 8am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"The conclusion by the California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group is a serious blow to the project as it is currently designed because state law specifically empowered the group to make recommendation before any serious money on the train could be spent."

Nonetheless, Governor Brown will ask the legislature to release $2.7 billion of the voter-approved $9.9 billion bonds in a 2008 ballot measure. {Planetizen: Gov Reafirms Faith In Controversial CA High Speed Rail Project}.

However, that bond "measure required that the Peer Review Group sign off on the feasibility and reasonableness of the plan to build the rail system before the state issues the bonds."

From Mercury News: Experts: Don't build $99 billion California bullet train: "Warning of an "immense financial risk" to the state, a renowned group of transportation and financial experts advised lawmakers (Jan. 3) to pull the emergency brake on funding California's $99 billion high-speed train. Former Caltrans chief Will Kempton, the group's chairman, said most troubling was the state's plan to spend all available funding -- $6 billion -- on a small stretch of track in the Central Valley and hope for the rest of the money later." {Peer Review Committee report located below on-line article. Also, see Planetizen: Is the Central Valley The Vietnam For CA High Speed Rail?}

The response from the CA High Speed Rail Authority? See their Press Release: "While some of the recommendations in the Peer Review Group report merit consideration, by and large this report is deeply flawed, in some areas misleading and its conclusions are unfounded."

Thanks to MTC-ABAG Library

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Published on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 in Los Angeles Times
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