New CA HSR Estimates: Double the Cost, Twice As Long To Build

According to preliminary reports on the new business plan, the California High Speed Rail Authority's new estimate for the 800-mile system will be $98.5 billion - initially pegged at $43 billion, and will take an additional 13 years to build.

The new completion date would be 2033. In addition, the trip time from San Francisco to Los Angeles would inevitably be longer than the bond-promised 2 hours, 20 minutes due to cost-cutting measures in Bay and LA regions involving shared trackage with existing commuter rail. (See 'blended rail' proposal by three Peninsula legislators for Bay Area's Peninsula route).

"Where the authority will come up with the money remains unclear. It has about $9 billion in state bonds it can tap and about $3 billion in federal grants. Congress, however, has dashed hopes of additional federal funds in the near future. Later this week, the authority is supposed to unveil a separate funding plan that must be approved by the Legislature before it can appropriate money to start construction.

The new plan may also provide a shorter, lower-cost - and controversial - option to route the bullet train over the Interstate 5 and Grapevine corridor between Los Angeles and Bakersfield. The current plan includes a long dogleg to the east, through Palmdale, where officials have vowed to fight to maintain their connection to the project."

Thanks to MTC Library

Full Story: Bullet train cost estimates rise to $98.5 billion

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