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Jan. 7, 2015

California High-Speed Rail Destined to Derail

Once completed, assuming it ever is, California’s high-speed rail will run from San Francisco to Los Angeles – though, practically speaking, it will be a track to nowhere. After years of legal hurdles, the Golden State formally broke ground on the delayed and prohibitively expensive railway this week despite Californians’ growing distaste for yet another government behemoth. What was originally pegged as a $33 billion endeavor has more than doubled to a (conservative) estimate of $68 billion, scheduled for completion in 2033. Worse still, the estimated time-savings for commuters have all but vanished. Instead of a two-hour, 40-minute trip touted by proponents, passengers will likely need between four and five hours, a Reason Foundation study found. As Katrina Trinko points out in The Daily Signal, “To put that into context, consider this: a flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles is about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Driving, if there isn’t traffic, takes a little under six hours – more time than the train would take, it’s true, but you also have a vehicle at the end of your trip.” If you’re wondering why the private sector has yet to jump aboard high-speed rail, look no further than the Great California Boondoggle. More…

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