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A bullet train's costly ride

October 07, 2008

Re "Yes on state bonds," editorial, Oct. 2

The Times' editorial acknowledged there is "something undeniably alluring about a bullet train," while warning that high-speed rail sponsors "will ask for many billions more in the coming decades."

You are right to predict future financial demands; the California High Speed Rail Authority's planning has been astonishingly inept. You said the Reason Foundation's study on the project was "more persuasive" than the agency's work, which is gratifying to me, a coauthor of the study. We found the state's proposal relied on overly optimistic financial and ridership projections, understated cost forecasts and bloated assumptions regarding greenhouse-gas emissions and unachievable travel times between major markets.

I've found Sacramento's planning to represent the worst I've ever reviewed, and unworthy of public support.

Joseph Vranich

Irvine

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