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High Speed Rail Plan Scrutinized

Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 7:47am

California Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor

California’s highly-regarded legislative analyst says the state’s High-Speed Rail project needs an overhaul. Mac Taylor’s report questions whether there’s enough money to build a High-Speed Rail system from the Bay Area to LA.

Taylor says, “there’s a lot more money that the state would have to get from the federal government in order to be able to complete this project.”

The report also questions the current cost projections. According to Taylor, “there is the much greater probability that costs could be much greater than $43 billion.”

And it questions the decision to build the first phase in the Central Valley – even though that’s a federal requirement. Taylor says, “you can’t just have a Central Valley segment. There’s not the ridership that could support it.”

Taylor even recommends stripping the state’s High-Speed Rail Authority of its decision-making powers and putting CalTrans in charge: “We’ve given the authority a lot of just that – their name, authority, autonomy, and in some cases, maybe it’s been too much.”

In a statement, the Authority’s C-E-O says he’ll thoroughly review the report’s findings.

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