Better business plan for HSR needed

July 24, 2013 

Jeff Denham remains consistent with his commitment toward maintaining bridges, roads, and existing freight and passenger rail transportation systems. It is impressive that the congressman is demonstrating a tremendous interest in expanding the Altamont Commuter Express, representing a formidable opportunity to increase jobs in the valley.

As a proactive public servant, Denham is working hard to invest our rail dollars wisely. The trust he has earned has helped him gain the chairman's seat on the House Subcommittee on Railroads. The congressman recently held a subcommittee panel meeting in Madera to scrutinize California High Speed Rail Authority bidding practices, right-of-way property acquisition costs and the ever-growing $68 billion first segment price tag.

The state's failure to acknowledge HSR infrastructure needs leaves us in a money blowing, debt growing cycle of economic instability. We will have high-speed rail soon enough, when the economy is not at risk of being derailed.

In view of the unacceptable cost, a much better business plan is required to attract crucial private sector investment if the "Little Bullet Train That Could" is to have a relatively happy ending.

KEN GROVES Jr.

Ceres

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