Will CA HSR Survive Leg' Analyst's Blistering Report?

The non-partisan Legislative Analyst pulled no punches. To proceed with the project without more funding and environmental clearances would violate the authorizing ballot proposition and endanger funding for all other state needs, including education

"In the sharpest critique yet of the state's newly revised plan to spend two decades and $99 billion building a bullet train line, the Legislative Analyst's Office bashed planners for relying on "highly speculative" funding sources.

The analyst further warned that the rail line voters approved in 2008 only allows construction to begin when officials outline committed funding and environmental clearances for a segment long enough to run service. But the rail authority has neither, the analyst said."

The new business plan calls for construction to begin in 2012 in the Central Valley, from Bakersfield to Fresno. This 130-mile stretch is defined as the Initial Construction Segment. Once completed, a second stretch would commence construction, either to San Jose or the San Fernando Valley. It would be called the Initial Operating Segment - as high speed trains would only begin running in the longer corridor.

"The report, unveiled at an Assembly oversight hearing (Nov. 29), appears to give lawmakers the strongest ammunition yet to kill the project instead of starting construction, which would bury the state even deeper in debt."

With Governor Brown on board the revised plan, the decision rests with the Democratic legislators, as Republicans have all cried 'boondoggle'.

Thanks to MTC-ABAG Library

Full Story: Top analyst warns state could waste $6 billion over high-speed rail

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