Patterico's Pontifications

2/12/2019

Gavin Newsom Makes It Official: No to Statewide High-Speed Rail

Filed under: General — JVW @ 3:50 pm



[guest post by JVW]

In his State of the State address earlier today, California Governor Gavin Newsom sounded the death knell for the woefully planned and horribly administered high-speed rail system that had been favored by his two immediate predecessors.

“Let’s be real,” Newsom said in his first State of the State address. “The current project, as planned [from Anaheim to San Francisco], would cost too much and respectfully take too long. There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.”

The idea championed by Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown, is years behind schedule. The latest estimate for completion is 2033.

Newsom, though, said he wants to finish construction that’s already under way on a segment of the high-speed train from Bakersfield to Merced, through California’s Central Valley, arguing it will revitalize the economically depressed region.

He’s also replacing Brown’s head of the state board that oversees the project and pledged more accountability for contractors that run over on costs.

The Bakersfield to Merced line will be of almost no practical use, unless you want easy travel to see the UC Merced Bobcats play the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners in men’s basketball. But perhaps now Gov. Newsom and his administration can prevail upon the zillionaires of Silicon Valley and the Bay Area to pony up and bring the line into San Jose. I hope the good people of the city of Anaheim don’t have buyer’s remorse over shelling out $185 million to reconfigure the tracks and build a beautiful new terminal only to now find out that they will just have the same old Amtrak and Metrolink trains chugging through, with daily ridership only about one-quarter of what had been expected.

Gov. Newsom made other news during his address today. In a further break from his predecessor, he announced that he does not support the “Twin Tunnels” idea for delivering water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to the southern part of the state, opting instead for a single tunnel which would be more cost-effective but also less reliable than the two-tunnel system that the Brown Administration had reluctantly supported. He also announced that he would be replacing Gov. Brown’s appointments for both the High Speed Rail Authority and the State Water Resources Control Board, indicating a desire for a clean break from the previous Sacramento regime. (By the way, Brown is notoriously thin-skinned about having his policies countermanded, so expect to hear some sniping from him and his allies in coming days.)

I’ll give credit where credit is due. Gavin Newsom had the guts to pull the plug on a ridiculous vanity project beloved by environmentalists, statists, unions, and everyone who generally benefits from big government. There is certainly a lot to dislike about his administration — his address earlier today also called for new taxes and a host of other stupid spending initiatives alongside a paean to the stringent and unforgiving diktats of social justice — but on high speed rail the new governor has made the right call.

– JVW

118 Responses to “Gavin Newsom Makes It Official: No to Statewide High-Speed Rail”

  1. What could be really interesting about the Newsom Administration is if they sort of systematically cancel every project that was initiated under a previous governor and try to replace it with their own priorities. You see that a lot when a Republican replaces a Democrat and vice-versa, but much more rarely when the new administration is from the same party. Newsom wants to make his mark in a hurry, though; perhaps he still envisions some scenario where all of the 2020 Democrat Presidential contenders underwhelm and the party turns to him in desperation to save the day, as far-fetched as that would seem.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  2. > more cost-effective but also less reliable

    given that we’re talking about the water supply of the entire San Joaquin Valley, this is a bad choice.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  3. i agree with Mr. aphrael

    the bill’s come due for years of underinvestment in this area

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  4. Wonder what the unions think of this, they had a huge stake.

    harkin (75c725)

  5. David Burge
    @iowahawkblog
    There are 2.24 million passenger trips between LAX and SFO every year, at an average cost of $112; a total of $250 million per year. For the price of the Cal train, you could pay for all those flights for 4,000 years.

    harkin (75c725)

  6. given that we’re talking about the water supply of the entire San Joaquin Valley, this is a bad choice.

    Yes indeed. But with his extensive wishlist of goodies, Newsom has to try to play it on the cheap as much as possible. In the ideal world he would stick with two tunnels, but the environmentalists are giving him hell over it so he’s trying to assuage them while still getting to check an item off of the to-do list.

    But the worst thing of all with this is that the single tunnel plan now apparently has to go through an environmental review and the associated lawsuits, so I think one of the articles that I linked now says the project will likely be delayed by at least one more decade. Hey, not like we’re in any hurry here.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  7. And how much money has been wasted? Where could it have been better spent? Or better not collected so the citizens could have a better standard of living?

    Dave (bb37fe)

  8. “An icon of California politics known as the “Great Dissenter,” Quentin L. Kopp introduced the legislation that established the rail line, and became chairman of the High-Speed Rail Authority. He helped convince voters in 2008 to hand over $9 billion in bonds to the Rail Authority to get the project going. Since he left, Kopp says the agency mangled his plans.
    “It is foolish, and it is almost a crime to sell bonds and encumber the taxpayers of California at a time when this is no longer high-speed rail,” says Kopp. “And the litigation, which is pending, will result, I am confident, in the termination of the High-Speed Rail Authority’s deceiving plan.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBrWRapGHAg

    Colonel Haiku (467f23)

  9. And how much money has been wasted? Where could it have been better spent?

    Yep. I think we have pissed away $10 billion of bond money and an additional $6+ billion of money from the feds (it is the money from the feds that is forcing us to complete the Bakersfield-Merced line; otherwise we would have to pay it back). And then the state has been diverting something like $300 million from cap-and-trade for the past four or five years, and you have the local governments like Anaheim and San Mateo who upgraded their train stations and tracks in anticipation of all of this.

    There are certainly some lessons to be learned from all of this, but somehow I don’t see our state learning them.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  10. trains to nowhere
    tunnels of trafic
    no flights
    over sea bridges
    can’t wait

    mg (8cbc69)

  11. That’s what I thought, jvw…Newsom’s positioning himself for a DNC draft as the “less” crazy.

    urbanleftbehind (d1bd6f)

  12. Would love to see a ledger of where that money went.

    harkin (75c725)

  13. “You can catch it if you want to ride
    Don’t you worry if it pass you by
    You can catch it if you want to ride
    Don’t you worry if it pass you by

    Lord you know the reason why
    On this train till I die
    Train I ride goes to God knows where
    I don’t know and I don’t care

    Train I ride goes to God knows where
    I don’t know and I don’t care
    If you ain’t got money don’t despair
    ‘Cause you don’t have to pay no fare

    Please now brother don’t you ride this train
    Ride the wrong rails, live your life in vain
    Please now brother don’t you ride this train
    Ride the wrong rails, live your life in vain”

    Colonel Haiku (fd5d8b)

  14. 9. JVW (54fd0b) — 2/12/2019 @ 4:53 pm

    There are certainly some lessons to be learned from all of this, but somehow I don’t see our state learning them.

    Some projects only work if the right person is in charge.

    It sounds from this that nothin much happened for six years, till 2015, and only after Quentin L. Kopp, did they begin planning to spend money.

    If I understand this correctly, he says they caused the route to meander to hit certain cities, and slowed it down, came up with a plan that, contrary to the terms of the initiative that created the high speed rail authority, would not be able to operate without subsidies (and is that the basis of the lawsuit?) and it’s no longer high speed rail, and it would just duplicate service now available on Amtrak.

    Sammy Finkelman (4b90f8)

  15. Bummin’ on “Internal Improvements”? Today, of all days…

    Matador (39e0cd)

  16. where all of the 2020 Democrat Presidential contenders underwhelm and the party turns to him in desperation to save the day, as far-fetched as that would seem

    That the contenders all underwhelm is a likely result. That Gavin becomes the White Knight is a bit farfetched.
    But I would bet that the Lady of Chappaqua is plotting to be the White Knight…

    Kishnevi (a77570)

  17. SoCal sucks down way too much water as it is. Better to deliver it to farmers than swimming pools.

    Newsom is more likely shooting for 2024 or 2028, but I don’t think he’d carry the Dem nomination. He’s a little too surface flash for anyone outside CA/NY/DC IMO (although, God knows, look at the current office occupant).

    Nic (896fdf)

  18. We’re talking about water for farmers, primarily, not swimming pools.

    Most of the farmers on the western side of the San Joaquin Valley — the side further from the Sierras — buy water from either the federal central valley project or the state water project, which basically use dams on rivers tributary to the Sacramento to hold water in the winter and spring, and then release water into the tributaries in the summer and fall; the water flows into the Sacramento and through the delta, where it’s tapped by pumps into the state aqueduct, which then feeds water to the farmers on the western side of the central valley.

    *some* of this water goes to los angeles and san diego, but that’s not the primary purpose.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  19. He’s wrong about it duplicating service on Amtrak — there is no Amtrak train route through the central valley into Los Angeles. The bay area los angeles train runs down the coast, and if you want to go from Sacramento to LA by public transit, you’re taking a bus.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  20. How does a project get built, that has practically no constituency a luxury at best while basic needs go unaddressed, I know rhetorical?

    Narciso (307253)

  21. Esquire seeks to enhance its Woke bonafides by doing a cover story on privileged white boys, steps on Woke rake by thinking it should do it same month as Black History Month.

    https://www.thewrap.com/esquire-called-out-for-new-cover-story-on-white-male-teenager-from-wisconsin-happy-black-history-month/

    harkin (a92711)

  22. That Esquire article, to me, came off more like an expansion of the Salena Zito genre into the less rusty Upper Midwest. Privileged White Boys, at least in the economic sense of the word, would live in Waukesha and Whitefish Bay, not West Bend.

    Side Note: an former co-worker of mine hailed from West Bend, he was gay and flamboyant about it, but came from a rock ribbed conservative family with a Marine as a brother, that experienced led me to believe it is chromosomes, not choice.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  23. people seem to forget that this all started as a buttboy obama stimulus joint

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  24. happyfeet, that’s because it *didn’t* start as an obama stimulus project. the ballot measure to authorize it was originally supposed to be on the *2004* ballot (it was placed on the ballot by the legislature), but the legislature rescheduled it twice because of the mid-2000s california budget crisis. the high speed rail authority, which put the plan together prior to its appearing on the ballot, was formed in 1996.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  25. the slovenly and parasitic californians always said that it could only move forward if they got federal matching funds, and that’s why nothing really happened til buttboy obama did his dirty stimulus all up in it

    On January 28, 2010, the White House announced that California would receive $2.25 billion for California High Speed Rail.[29] Over the course of 2010 and 2011, the federal government awarded the Authority a further $4 billion in high-speed rail funding.[30][31][32]

    so that’s when this boondoggle started i think

    before then it was purely notional

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  26. > so that’s when this boondoggle started i think

    you’re wrong.

    the voters passed a ballot measure in 2008 to issue bonds. the plan always assumed that we’d get a certain amount of funding, and we got that through the stimulus package — but the plan was already in motion well before then.

    According to the legislative analyst’s digest of the ballot measure, the HSRA spent $60 million *prior to 2008*. The text of the measure itself says:

    > The authority shall pursue and obtain other private and public funds, including, but not limited to, federal funds, funds from revenue bonds, and local funds, to augment the proceeds of this chapter

    but NOWHERE does it require that federal money be available prior to the onset of construction, or require that construction only proceed if federal money is available.

    See https://vig.cdn.sos.ca.gov/2008/general/pdf-guide/suppl-complete-guide.pdf#prop1a

    The fact that the measure assumed federal money but did not require it as a prerequisite to construction OR to issuance of the bonds was one of the objections that fiscal conservatives had to it *when it was adopted*.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  27. no they could only spend a tiny pittance of the bond monies (the 60M is part of that pittance)

    they could only spend the vast majority of the bond monies if they had matching funds

    there have NEVER been any private funds to match

    so it took the buttboy obama money to shake lose enough bond money to start buying right of way and construction materials

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  28. Existing law, Chapter 697 of the Statutes of 2002, as amended by
    Chapter 71 of the Statutes of 2004 and Chapter 44 of the Statutes of
    2006, provides for submission of the Safe, Reliable High-Speed
    Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century to the voters for
    approval at the November 4, 2008, general election. Subject to voter
    approval, the act would provide for the issuance of $9.95 billion of
    general obligation bonds, $9 billion of which would be available in
    conjunction with any available federal funds for planning and
    construction of a high-speed train system pursuant to the business
    plan of the High-Speed Rail Authority
    , and $950 million of which
    would be available for capital projects on other passenger rail lines
    to provide connectivity to the high-speed train system and for
    capacity enhancements and safety improvements to those lines.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  29. i guess there were also some state monies used to stand up the HSRA, but that’s administrative money – that wasn’t money to buy coal shovels and such

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  30. Yes. The LAO says that the 9 billion, plus other money, will be available to build the 45 billion project.

    But look to the text of the law! It doesn’t require that the federal money be obtained before either bonds can be sold OR money can be released for spending.

    The proponents of HSR were saying “we’re so sure that we can get federal money that we feel perfectly safe with a business plan that assumes it, and will proceed as though it’s inevitable that it will come.”

    the fiscal conservative opponents thought that was lunacy.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  31. my bad then

    i was misinformed

    thanks for doing the work here

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  32. no work done now, really, other than to refresh my memory. i read the law in 2004 and again in 2008 and remember the debates from that time. :)

    aphrael (3f0569)

  33. Posted by NAtional Review and linked to today:

    From July 2, 2015,

    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/it-takes-true-detective-understand-californias-high-speed-rail-plans-jim-geraghty/

    Can you believe that HBO is portraying Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature legacy project in such a negative light?

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  34. 20 aphrael (3f0569) — 2/13/2019 @ 8:41 am

    .He’s wrong about it duplicating service on Amtrak — there is no Amtrak train route through the central valley into Los Angeles. The bay area los angeles train runs down the coast, and if you want to go from Sacramento to LA by public transit, you’re taking a bus.

    I took it with a grain of salt because people tend to oversatte their argument and it just didn’t feel right (would the route exactly parallel Amtrak? I couldn’t believe that, at least without a very specific statemenbt to that effect. And they didn’t elaborate on that point one bit in the video.)

    I assumed that by duplication he meant just the San Francisco to Los Angeles route, which was the point of the high speed rail, and that if Amtrak just went from SF to LA it would be enough for it to be fair to say that. I assumed they meant no more than that it was close to duplicating Amtrak, and thouyght it likely it maybe would still be somewhat faster.)

    I said “If I understand this correctly” and left this point for last (it would be a very salient point, if true, so I mentioned it, but because I was uncertain as to the degree of truth to that, I left it for last.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  35. and if you want to go from Sacramento to LA by public transit, you’re taking a bus.

    The rail project was supposed to substitute for air travel. I don’t know – are there any airplane flights between Sacramento and Los Angeles?

    Now Sacramentio to San Francisco – people actually make that commute daily (mostly by car) because of the high cost of housing in San Franncisco. There are train routes.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Sacramento/comments/7g267h/commute_from_sacramento_to_san_francisco_options/

    I checked out Amtrak, and my work in SF is near a BART line, so if I could somehow find a place right by the Amtrak station that’d be great. Interestingly enough with how much rent prices are increasing even in Sac, a place right by the Sac Amtrak station is still pretty expensive…

    Sacramento to Los Angeles might be possible by using San Francisco as a hub and transfer point.

    Here’s a train route map. I’m not sure this is really a detour. But it’s something of a local. An only goes to San Jose.

    https://www.capitolcorridor.org/route-map/

    Here are (all?) the current passenger train routes in California. (some of these might have limited service hours. And on the web site I linked to before, someone says that about once every six months trains from Sacramento to San Francisco are delayed a few hours because they hit a person.)

    https://www.amtrak.com/california-train-routes

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  36. 21. Narciso (307253) — 2/13/2019 @ 8:41 am

    How does a project get built, that has practically no constituency a luxury at best while basic needs go unaddressed, I know rhetorical?

    Basic needs are funded from tax revenue, but luxury projects are funded by dedicated borrowing – and nobody much cares what it costs. There’s no point in economizing – the money can’t be used for anything else.

    Sammy Finkelman (102c75)

  37. Sammy – absolutely, i’m not arguing with *you*, i’m arguing with the person whose speech you’re reporting.

    Amtrak from SJ to LA is terrible. there’s one train a day. the southbound train leaves at 955 am and gets in at 9pm. the northbound leaves at 1010am and gets in at 823pm. it only costs $50 with advance planning, but given how long it takes ….

    even a slow four hour ‘high speed rail’ would be an enormous improvement.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  38. Sammy

    It takes about 5 seconds to type “LAX to Sacramento nonstop” into a search engine to produce a list of flights. I’m certain that there are also nonstop flights from Burbank, Ontario and Orange County (John Wayne).

    JoeH (f94276)

  39. Amtrak from SJ to LA is terrible. there’s one train a day. the southbound train leaves at 955 am and gets in at 9pm. the northbound leaves at 1010am and gets in at 823pm. it only costs $50 with advance planning, but given how long it takes

    Counterpoint: it’s a lovely ride along the coast for much of the way (especially if you originate in San Diego at 7:00 am) and it has a pretty-decent high-speed WiFi service in business class that is mostly reliable if you want to get some work done.

    Granted, you have to be willing to devote an entire day for travel, but it is far more elegant than what airline travel has become.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  40. The Capital Corridor is a regional commuter rail.

    aphrael (3f0569)

  41. Yeah, you go Pacific Surfliner from San Diego to Los Angeles, then transfer to the Coastal Starlight up to Oakland (or north all the way to Seattle).

    JVW (54fd0b)

  42. Is the hobo population in Cantafordya escalating?

    mg (8cbc69)

  43. I know in Miami, we had the metrorail, william lehman’s pet project, which ran from downtown roughly along us 1, a major southern artery then took an odd angle along a westborn highway
    https://dailycaller.com/2019/02/13/ilhan-omar-elliott-abrams-committee-hearing/

    narciso (d1f714)

  44. OT: Declared dead: RIP NASA Mars rover ‘Opportunity.’

    Designed w/a 90 day lifetime; survived and operated nearly 15 years. Outstanding job, JPL and all design and support teams in academia and industry. Money well spent; well done, kids.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  45. I thought Metrorail was the response to NIMBY opposition to extending I-95 along roughly that same route toward Perrine and Cutler Bay.

    urbanleftbehind (d1bd6f)

  46. You can live stream the Bobcats vs. Roadrunners for $5 AND not have to go to Bakersfield.

    steveg (344216)

  47. DCSCA-In its place, Opportunity was the fifth of eight spacecraft to successfully land on Mars, all belonging to NASA. Only two are still working: the nuclear-powered Curiosity rover, prowling around since 2012, and the recently arrived InSight, which just this week placed a heat-sensing, self-hammering probe on the dusty red surface to burrow into the planet like a mole.

    mg (8cbc69)

  48. About a billion dollars to nowhere, about par with the stadium circus contests.

    Narciso (86a1ad)

  49. SoCal sucks down way too much water as it is. Better to deliver it to farmers than swimming pools.

    Yeah, screw those people in SoCal. It’s not like they pay 2/3rds of the taxes in CA! Oh, wait, they do.

    But maybe not for much longer. Los Angeles, at least, is becoming unlivable, at least for people with jobs. When it takes an hour to go 5 miles most times during the day, only those with a lot of time on their hands can deal. Others leave.

    L.A. could have been saved by spending a ton of money this last decade on subways and light rail. But that money was all thrown into a pit in Merced, and the new governor’s answer is to throw more in, but slower.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  50. OPP AOC

    Harm me with harmony
    Dave drop a load on yo self
    AOC, how can I explain it
    I’ll take you frame by frame it

    To have why’all jumpin’ shall we singin’ it
    A is for Alexandria, O is for Ocasio
    The C…well…they say he was a killer
    She thinks she’s jus’ a funny gal
    She ain’t no Phyllis Diller

    It’s five little letters that are missin’ here
    You get on occasion with the other party
    As a game ‘n it seems I gotta start to explainin’
    Bust it

    You ever seen a girl and then she talk and spoil it all
    You get her number and then you want to see her fall
    And there’s the turtle-man that some are callin’ Cocaine Mitch
    He gotta plan to make this gal his little b*tch

    It’s not a front, F to the R to the O to the N to the T
    Some peeps believe her and (Boy, that’s what is scary)
    It’s AOC, and socialism’s what you get
    There’s no room for makin’ nice, there’s just room to vent

    How many brothers out there know just what I’m gettin’ at
    Who thinks it’s wrong ’cause I’m spittin’ and co-hittin’ at
    Well if you do, that’s AOC and you’re not down with it
    But if you don’t, here’s your membership

    You down with AOC (Yeah nothin’s free) [Repeat: x3]
    Who’s down with AOC (Every last homie)
    You down with AOC (Yeah nothin’s free) [Repeat: x3]
    Who’s down with AOC (All the homies)

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  51. if you want to go from Sacramento to LA by public transit, you’re taking a bus.

    Over any path also served by Amtrak, a bus will make few stops, travel faster and get there quicker than the train. The never-to-be-finished Bakersfield-to-Merced TGV will cost well over $100 billion dollars before they give up entirely. Jerry Brown’s father built the entire L.A. freeway system for less than that even adjusted for inflation.

    It is a monument to hubris. Some particularly ugly section needs to be saved, so that all ruture government officials can be sworn in at the site.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  52. I still await the edit function.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  53. Here’s something for Montagu and a few others to ruminate on…

    https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/321718/

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  54. Coastal Starlight up to Oakland (or north all the way to Seattle).

    A co-worker of mine took the Coastal Starlight from Seattle to L.A. after 9/11 (others of us chose to drive). He said that the train never exceeded 40 mph and stopped at every little village in its path. It took more than 2 days. Part of the problem was that Amtrak feared terrorist bombs on the tracks, but that just shows you the stupidity that a bureaucratic organization is capable of (every ass needs its cover).

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  55. I know in Miami, we had the metrorail, william lehman’s pet project, which ran from downtown roughly along us 1, a major southern artery then took an odd angle along a westborn highway

    Alaska had the bridge to nowhere, Miami has the streetcar to nowhere…
    I have a coworker who has taken a job with JetBlue and is moving to Boston. Me to him :”It’s not like down here. They have a real subway system there…”

    Kishnevi (e8b3ea)

  56. The one thing that absolutely has to happen here is the SJ/Sac Delta farmers have to lose their water. Some of those bassets give money to Republicans.

    Thud Muffle (5a4596)

  57. Wait I recall something called the ‘big dig’ up there.

    Narciso (86a1ad)

  58. Yes. But in Boston you can take the subway/streetcar system from anywhere in the core of the city to anywhere else in thr core.
    Whereas in Miami you can take Metrorail to go from one part of Hialeah to one part of Kendall via one slice of downtown.

    Kishnevi (e8b3ea)

  59. In Albuquerque, they have made a mess of Central Avenue, by dedicating half the road to a busway. After several years, the buses were delivered, then sent back as deficient (among other things, the brakes did not work). But if it was completed as promised, you could ride a bus up and down Central Avenue for literally miles at the small cost of making the road avoid-at-all-costs for motorists.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  60. And if you wanted to go to a place that was not on Central Ave.
    We have buses here. They sometimes only come once an hour, and stop every other block. Meaning sometimes it is quicker to walk…

    Kishnevi (e8b3ea)

  61. Its hard to properly describe this boondoggle:
    https://www8.miamidade.gov/transportation-publicworks/metrorail-stations.asp

    Narciso (86a1ad)

  62. The Moonbeam Express may be the most costly domestic mistake in US history since the Civil War.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  63. One measure of Metrorail’s inanity.
    Its northernmost stretch runs along 79th Street, in a county whose street grid stretches north to 210th Street (and only stops because it’s the county line…the urbanized area runs continuously on the eastern side through Broward County and well into Palm Beach County).

    Compare Boston, where, if you don’t need to go outside the inner ring of suburbs, you truly could do without a car
    https://www.mbta.com/schedules/subway

    Kishnevi (e8b3ea)

  64. Kevin, maybe not.
    Narciso mentioned the Big Dig of Boston, which was actually a highway rebuilding project, not a mass transit project
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Dig

    The Big Dig was the most expensive highway project in the US, and was plagued by cost overruns, delays, leaks, design flaws, charges of poor execution and use of substandard materials, criminal arrests,[2][3] and one death.[4] The project was originally scheduled to be completed in 1998[5] at an estimated cost of $2.8 billion (in 1982 dollars, US$6.0 billion adjusted for inflation as of 2006).[6] However, the project was completed in December 2007 at a cost of over $14.6 billion ($8.08 billion in 1982 dollars, meaning a cost overrun of about 190%)[6] as of 2006.[7] The Boston Globe estimated that the project will ultimately cost $22 billion, including interest, and that it would not be paid off until 2038.[8] As a result of a death, leaks, and other design flaws, Bechtel and Parsons Brinckerhoff—the consortium that oversaw the project—agreed to pay $407 million in restitution and several smaller companies agreed to pay a combined sum of approximately $51 million.[9]

    Kishnevi (e8b3ea)

  65. We’ve started looking for a new home, out of Caliunicornia. Oregon, Utah or AZ. As my wife and I have agreed, this state is on a downward slide and there’s little hope for improvement.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  66. Perhaps New Mexico should be included.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  67. As it’s been described to me, Oregon seems to suffer from the outsized influence of Portland. Washington State might be better.
    Would you be willing to move to Florida? The GOP has gerrymandered itself into almost total control of the legislature.

    Kishnevi (e8b3ea)

  68. 58. Kishnevi (e8b3ea) — 2/13/2019 @ 5:37 pm

    I have a coworker who has taken a job with JetBlue and is moving to Boston. Me to him :”It’s not like down here. They have a real subway system there…”

    61. Narciso (86a1ad) — 2/13/2019 @ 5:55 pm

    Wait I recall something called the ‘big dig’ up there.

    The Boston subway was built decades before the “Big Dig.” Isaac Asimov once wrote a science fiction story about it based on how complicated it was (but that can’t be anything compared to New York City.)

    I would guess that very little, if anything, has been added to the Boston subway in the last 50 years.

    They used to know how to build major projects.

    Sammy Finkelman (b0ece0)

  69. I would guess that very little, if anything, has been added to the Boston subway in the last 50 years

    That’s because Boston has been a city for 200 years or so.

    Kishnevi (e8b3ea)

  70. 71… no, kishnevi, too far from our children and grandkids. But I do have colleagues who will soon be retiring and they’ve already made their preparations to move from Ohio to FLA.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  71. Kishnevi–

    The Big Dig cost a lot, but Boston got something from it. The CA supertrain will result in NOTHING. Divide by zero and you get a big ratio of bad.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  72. That’s because Boston has been a city for 200 years or so.

    Los Angeles has been a city since 1781. Maybe not as long as Boston, but that’s no explanation of why they have subways.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  73. the project will ultimately cost $22 billion

    The latest number on the full-blown Moonbeam Express was last set at $77 billion, and was sure to be revised further. A lot of money has been spent already.

    But if you assume that there are 200,000 round-trip LA-SF flights of 100 people, per year, at a cost of about $100 per person per round trip, buying ALL the tickets for a year would cost $2 billion. So, it would take nearly 40 years of full round-trip flights to pay for the [current estimated] cost of construction alone. Then of course, is the cost of operation. If you assume that the operational cost of the train is only $50 per round trip (HAH!), then this payback period is twice as long. Some 77 years. Assuming that nothing happens to drive up the cost more.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  74. And there would probably be an airline bailout scheme.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  75. I know la has a greater population density than say most towns in Germany or much of Europe, but it shouldn’t have been that hard.

    Narciso (8b1d12)

  76. RIP: Airbus 380. Killed by NIMBYs everywhere who didn’t like losing their homes to expanding airports.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  77. The torches are out for Ryan Adams. Never care for him but Lord, these times. Can we delete the internet?

    JRH (fe281f)

  78. *cared

    JRH (fe281f)

  79. Apparently, Los Angeles prefers to augur it in. Today, the city announces it is closing 3 natural gas plants to comply with the proposed “Green New Deal.”

    https://la.curbed.com/2019/2/13/18223839/green-new-deal-los-angeles-climate-change

    I suggest that the city councilmen refuse to fly anywhere, or drive any car powered directly on indirectly by fossil fuels. They can take the subway, or trains if they have to go out of state.

    Lead by example.

    I am so glad I fled. I will be interested in buying up property cheap after the dieback.

    Kevin M (21ca15)

  80. The Big Dig has not, repeat has not helped traffic in Boston. It is worse coming into town from the North than it was prior to the construction of a union scheme to keep employees fixing mistakes that were made. Probably on purpose. Panels falling off the tunnels ceilings killing drivers, costing more money for the taxpayer. And now they want to start another Big Dig to solve the problem once and for all. Good Grief. This crap is nothing but job security for union hacks.

    mg (8cbc69)

  81. Eating next to Chou En-lai, Nixon fared much better with chopsticks than CBS anchorman Walter Kronkite, who accidentally shot an olive at a neighboring table.

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  82. Counterpoint: it’s a lovely ride along the coast for much of the way (especially if you originate in San Diego at 7:00 am) and it has a pretty-decent high-speed WiFi service in business class that is mostly reliable if you want to get some work done.

    I have taken the Surfliner from San Diego to Van Nuys on a few occasions. Yes, the scenery in spots is nice. However, the tracks are rough in other spots, it takes 3 1/2 hours to get there, and you have a 1/2 hour layover once you get to Union Station in LA. Driving, I can get to Van Nuys (about 15 miles northwest of downtown LA, the northern end of the San Fernando Valley) in a little over two hours with cooperative traffic. And I have my car.

    I had getting to the Santa Fe station down to a science. Up at 4:15, catch the first trolley into San Diego at about 5:10, which got me there (across the street) in time for a cup of coffee before boarding at about 6:15, depart at 6:30.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  83. i surfy-surfed to fullerton and anaheim a few times

    you get a different view of the city that way and it’s kinda fun

    i love union station haven’t seen it in years now though

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  84. Looks like Trudeau is in a spot of trouble,

    Narciso (4e6dec)

  85. Its sounds like the Canadian equivalent of waving a hand drum in front of somebody’s face. Netflix better get season 4 of Frontier up and ready.

    urbanleftbehind (d1bd6f)

  86. Who were the *holes again that were talking about “traitors”?

    Drink deeply, my friends… https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/321754/

    Colonel Haiku (fd5d8b)

  87. Yes, Virginia, there really is a Deep State.

    Colonel Haiku (fd5d8b)

  88. Yet basenghi Horowitz isn’t to be heard of.

    Narciso (4e6dec)

  89. It’s of a piece coronello, leftist flush the water to save the smelt, build a train to nowhere, as part of the stimulus, then almost let the central valley flood the last time.

    Narciso (4e6dec)

  90. The whole corrupt lot of them stink worse than dead fish.

    Colonel Haiku (fd5d8b)

  91. i have smelt in the freezer

    i need something you do with smelt other than fry em

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  92. ok i found one where you roast them in the oven but you can’t link it for some reason

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  93. ‘“In the book, as in the interview, McCabe spoke to a desire to protect the Russia investigation no matter what: “I wanted to protect the Russia investigation in such a way that whoever came after me could not just make it go away.” ‘

    Prosecutorial discretion trumps the electorate.

    Munroe (c4c0ab)

  94. thanks i deleted mine for the one with cayenne

    that sounds fun

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  95. I kind of expected McCabe to speak up sometime. The Dems channeled a $700,000 bribe to him thru his wife. The reason nobody talks about that? Because it’s a common practice. And another reason we need real newspapers and real reporters.

    Thud Muffle (5a4596)

  96. So billions were spent, the project ultimately failed and California’s real needs are unmet bravo.

    Narciso (4e6dec)

  97. Meanwhile in the third ring:
    https://www.caracaschronicles.com/2019/02/14/new-boards/

    Narciso (4e6dec)

  98. I remember getting on the train in Fullerton in the early 60s when mom and some friends took us to the SD Zoo.

    Capistrano was like the middle of nowhere after miles of a forest of eucalyptus and citrus. Paradise.

    harkin (e15868)

  99. What level of doom are you in, nk?
    https://www.city-journal.org/chicago-crime-toni-preckwinkle

    Narciso (4e6dec)

  100. For the runoff, is Preckwinkle to scare the old/old-school voters into Daley, or is Daley to scare all the youngins to Preckwinkle?

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  101. When I was 8, me and the family took Amtrak to Disneyland SW Chief from Chicago to LA Union Station, then out to Fullerton where the longer layover (2.5 hours) was when the Conestoga Inn of Anaheim was late with their shuttle.

    Later in the same trip was spending a week with cousins in Huntington Park, who had the same fears about “Watts” moving in as my Chicago South Suburban cousins about the South Side, little did they know future HP would more resemble a Cicero on steroids than a Harvey or Maywood.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  102. @96. Troll for tuna, Mr. Feet; although a Corvette makes for better bait.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  103. I remember Monterey Park (a little further north) as pretty heavy Latino but I was there on a project about ten years ago and it was very Asian. I remember stopping at a gas station to ask the guy where I could find a bar to watch the Kentucky Derby and he informed me MP didn’t do bars any more.

    harkin (e15868)

  104. toxic toni’s office is more or less across from trump tower

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  105. Yeah, this was 1981 and Huntington Park was mixed white and “coconut” Mexican (I guess one could say Chicano) with a couple black kids among the pre-teen crowds. This was very similar to the Dolton, Calumet City and Burnham IL areas where my other cousins, lived, and the HP cousins were looking across the SP tracks complaining the black people were going to smart moving in from Watts, South Central etc.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

  106. 105… I remember going with a Cub Scout pack, catching the train in Fullerton and heading to LA/Hollywood to see “Lady and the Tramp”… why, I can only guess, it was at the Cinerama Dome.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  107. Kevin M – the last time I took a Greyhound from SJ to LA, the driver pulled over every hour to have a fifteen minute cigarette break. The elapsed time came close to 12 hours.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  108. Capistrano was like the middle of nowhere after miles of a forest of eucalyptus and citrus. Paradise.

    Late ’70’s on through about 1990, whenever I traveled on the 5, most notably through Irvine north of the 5/405 split, the scent of orange blossoms would smack you in the face. So refreshing. Now Irvine is primarily just another bedroom community, and Orange County, well, isn’t.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  109. …the last time I took a Greyhound from SJ to LA, the driver pulled over every hour to have a fifteen minute cigarette break. The elapsed time came close to 12 hours.

    Funny you mention that, aphrael. Just a couple of years ago, our car club’s annual meetup was to be held in Salinas. I considered taking the Surfliner there- Salinas is the northern terminus- but I got to looking at the trip time. It was something outrageous, 11-12 hours IIRC. I could be there by car in 6-7 hours. And I wasn’t wedded to Amtrack’s schedule.

    Bill H (383c5d)


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