Letters to the Editor

July 20, 2013

Call it 'high-loss rail'

The way things are going, construction between the two Central Valley towns could be the last we see for a decade or longer.

It's quite exciting that California's high-speed rail will soon move ahead with its initial 29-mile construction project between Madera and Fresno. Problem is that Sacramento's budgeting ineptitude has caused the state to lose over half of its $69 billion in appropriations.

The way things are going, construction between the two Central Valley towns could be the last we see for a decade or longer. Fiscal conservative government overseers like Rep. Jeff Denham are needed now more than ever.

In 2008, the state told a whopper to voters, causing those that bought the story to believe that a system would transport riders from San Francisco to Los Angeles in two or three hours' time. A current Reason Foundation study (by Joseph Branich, Wendell Cox and Adrian Moore) shows that the trip would take four or five hours at best.

Another finding in the study is that a loss of $100 million would occur annually. Of course, all of this is contingent on whether enough project money exists for completion, and if regular rail isn't merged with HSR at great length. Wonder if bus transfers will be available in trackless areas?

CHARLIE GAY

Ripon

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