November 20, 2012
Re “ Bullet train leg to finish later ,” Nov. 16 It has been my experience that high-speed rail has brought untold benefits wherever it has been developed. The early decision to solve Japan's transportation needs with bullet trains had many side benefits, including the development of both industrial and commercial centers that were and are major supporting elements to the success of the system. The same can be said for the TGV in France. Jobs, growth and more freedom of movement are but a few of the positive elements from this long-overdue project.
August 16, 2012 |
California's bullet train is appropriately named -- not because it will ever be as fast as a speeding bullet but because it has taken more potshots than a Montana stop sign . Critics deride the line as a train to nowhere that will never attract the funding needed to run all the way from Sacramento to San Diego (with a spur to San Francisco) as originally envisioned. What's more, they say, the train's planning has been so undermined by special interests that it has no chance of running fast enough to fulfill its promise to get from L.A. to San Francisco in 2 1/2 hours.
November 6, 2011 |
So, the California High-Speed Rail Authority was wrong. The bullet trains from Anaheim and Los Angeles to San Francisco will not cost $34 billion as originally estimated, or $43 billion as the authority insisted just two years ago, but closer to $100 billion. Critics say the agency's new $98.5-billion estimate is low, and the authority admits it might go as high as $117.6 billion, but for sake of argument call the cost $100 billion. The authority is offering us less for more.
July 19, 2012 |
Hop a ride to the future -- but hope that cattle migration doesn't interrupt your commute. California's high-speed rail project has been approved, though the initial phase would only link two cities in the Central Valley. These are not exactly major centers of business and culture. ALSO: Divvying up California's water Photo gallery: Ted Rall cartoons California, look to Wisconsin for budget lessons Follow Ted Rall on Twitter @TedRall . Follow Opinion L.A. on Twitter and Facebook .
March 30, 2013
Re "High-speed rail's strongest backers have concerns," March 27 It is time to put a bullet into California's bullet train. What is the justification, in the present difficult economy, to build a staggeringly expensive rail line that only a small percentage of the people will ever use and, according to this article, likely won't be a true high-speed system? The state should instead take a fraction of the $68 billion for this project and upgrade airports and highways. In the long term, California should invest in research to develop a cost-effective high-speed transportation system for the 21st century.
June 14, 2012
Re "Would rail project foul the air?," June 11 Where did America go? Where is the drive to build much needed infrastructure that creates jobs? It worked after the Great Depression. Regarding California's bullet train, you can continue to look for reasons not to build it, but that's not what made this country great. Once upon a time, California would not have thought twice about moving this project forward. Now you can't swing a dead cat without hitting someone who is trying to stall it. Yes, the environment will be affected slightly while the system is built.