Every two years, the California High-Speed Rail Authority is required by law (Proposition 1A, enacted by voters in 2008) to produce a Business Plan. And every two years the Authority comes out with a report.
The Business Plan serves primarily as a public relations promotional document for the high-speed rail project. However, grim reality is usually embedded deep within the report for the public to find.
The newly-released draft for 2020 is entitled California High-Speed Rail 2020 Business Plan: Delivering the Vision.
Please read about the delivery of the “vision” and submit your comments by April 12 in one of five ways:
1. Submit a comment electronically through the California High-Speed Rail website at this link:
2. Email to DraftBP2020@hsr.ca.gov
3. U.S. mail to this address:
California High-Speed Rail Authority
Attn: Draft 2020 Business Plan
770 L Street, Suite 620 MS-1
Sacramento, CA 95814-3385
4. Voicemail Message: (916) 384-9516
5. In-Person Public Comment at One (or Both) Meetings of the California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors:
- February 18 in Sacramento
- March 17 in Los Angeles
As you might guess, the delivery of this “vision” continues to become phenomenally more expensive than originally claimed. And it will become reality long after originally claimed – if it ever becomes reality.
The California High-Speed Rail Authority predicts in its 2020 Draft Business Plan that 40 million people will ride the train by 2040, generating $4.5 billion and covering the cost of operations.
We’ll make our own prediction. If the Trump Administration or a subsequent Presidential administration is unable to force the State of California to pay back its 2010 federal grants, the Authority might have track on the ground between Madera and Wasco in 2030.
This would allow the Amtrak San Joaquins passenger trains with 125-mph low-emissions diesel engines to run on dedicated track (thus avoiding conflicts with freight trains). There could also be regional commuter rail service operating between Fresno and smaller cities to the north and south, such as Madera and Selma.
High-speed rail at more than 200 mph between San Francisco and Los Angeles (or San Diego or Sacramento)? Absolutely no way.