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Reason Foundation

CA HSR Failure a No Brainer in FL

Adrian Moore
January 4, 2012, 8:05pm

On January 3rd the California High-Speed Rail Peer Review Group issued a report recommending the state waste no more money on the project. The report concludes:

[W]e cannot overemphasize the fact that moving ahead on the HSR project without credible sources of adequate funding, without a definitive business model, without a strategy to maximize the independent utility and value to the State, and without the appropriate management resources, represents an immense financial risk on the part of the State of California.

The CA High-Speed Rail Authority responded with a tantrum, crying that the Peer Review Group was flawed, unfounded, premature, and did not consult with them enough.  But offering not one jot of evidence to counter any of the Peer Review Group's concerns.

In that context, I found this tidbit hilarious.

Gov. Rick Scott’s simple response Wednesday to a report that called for California to pull the emergency brake on funding $99 billion for a high-speed train was a sarcastic, “You're kidding? Shocking!”

. . .

Last February, Scott, over the objection of many state legislators, turned down $2.4 billion from the federal government for a Florida line between Orlando and Tampa.

At the time, Scott cited anticipated increases in costs that would have to be covered by Florida and findings from the Libertarian Reason Foundation that questioned the ridership projections for the line.

Let me just point out that we made similar and much more extensive predictions about the CA high-speed rail project back in 2008 and have watched virtually all of them come to pass.


Adrian Moore is Vice President, Policy


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