California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced today that an extra $1.3 billion will be spent to not build a bullet train, the non-existent system will be ready by 2033, and the total cost to taxpayers will be $80 billion.
“Let’s be real,” Newsom said. “In 2002, the cost of high speed rail from north to south was $34 billion and it was scheduled to open this year. I canceled that plan in 2017 because a $43 billion cost increase was too expensive, but today I’m announcing that the construction of no bullet train at all will cost $80.3 billion and will be ready in 13 years.”
Citing cost overruns, missed deadlines, lack of oversight and no transparency, Newsom said the state’s image as a “creative economy engine” is more important than the lack of a bullet train.
“It’s a transformation project that will align our creative juices, economic, workforce, and transportation strategies to revitalize communities across the state,” Newsom said.
Brian Kelly, the project’s chief executive, disputed the governor’s allegation that the train won’t be built.
“We continue to make investments that could see 20% of track laid by 2022, which is only 18 months past the total completion deadline,” Kelly said. “California is further along than I think a lot of people think.”
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