Letters to the Editor

Monday, Jan 27 2014 11:06 PM

More money for boondoggles

By The Bakersfield Californian

A Jan. 26 letter to the editor was titled, "High-speed rail benefits all of us."

Prop 1A, voted on and approved in 2008, was for $9.95 billion funding for construction of HSR. The initial cost estimate of $33 billion (2008 dollars) was also submitted. Revised cost in 2011 was $68.4 billion. This is an increase of nearly 52 percent in three years. Based on those figures, can we assume the cost in today's dollars has risen to almost $104 billion?

Under a little-noticed item in Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget, the state would lend California's bullet train agency $29 million to keep the project moving ahead amid increased uncertainty about the availability of future funding for the massive project. The proposed loan follows a similar $26-million advance last year from general government revenues that prompted some lawmakers to voice concern about the possibility that such lending would take money away from other high-priority projects.

The writer needs to ask, "How does the HSR get over the Tehachapi Mountains and out of the LA basin? Plus, the proposed spurs to service the Bay Area?"

His proposal to build a system similar to BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) in downtown Bakersfield should be called BARF, (Bakersfield Area Rail Folly) which in turn would tie into the HSR, renamed MAYHEM (Moonbeam After Your Hard-Earned Money). Perhaps the once Proposed FAHRT (Fresno Avenal Huron Rapid Transit) could be revived which would tie into MAYHEM also. Where is funding for these boondoggles coming from? Just a dumb question.

George Romagno

Bakersfield

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