Editor,

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but blatant factual inaccuracies published in a recent op-ed do nothing but mislead the public. The California High-Speed Rail Authority is committed to transparency and accountability as we work toward building the most transformative transportation project in the nation. The op-ed published on Nov. 10 by Quentin Kopp contained factually inaccurate statements that we feel need to be set straight:

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(4) comments

Ray Fowler

Hello, Boris

Perhaps Judge Kopp's numbers are inaccurate but maybe they're right on the money. Can you answer a couple of questions of interest to a lot of taxpayers?

What was the original estimated cost of the project and based on estimates today, what should it cost to complete the project? Will the entire length of the HSR system be electrified? Finally, based on estimates today, when will the project be completed?

Dirk van Ulden

Ray - in my last position before retiring from the UC system, I was in an early meeting hosted by Governor Brown in which then director Richardson promised that all electricity would be from renewable sources. Even the Governor was taken aback by that statement. There may be a catenary system in place to drive the electric trains but there will not be sufficient renewable energy ever for that boondoggle. Boris has not even mentioned how the system will get to either the Bay Area or the LA Basin. That alone would require billions of dollars for tunnels. But, for the millions of Bakersfield residents it will be a sweet ride to nowhere.

Ray Fowler

Hey, Dirk

I grew up in a small town outside Bakersfield. While the population there is now about 415,000, I don't think many people from Bakersfield will be riding the train to Merced. The other folks in Kern County probably have even less a reason to ride the rails. If you won a pair of HSR tickets at the Ridgecrest Petroglypf Festival, you might want to ask for the second place prize.

Terence Y

Unfortunately, Mr. Lipkin, your title belies your bias in favor of high-speed rail. At least you admit the current cost has ballooned considerably from estimations, and unfortunately, because the project is nowhere close to complete, $1 trillion is well within the realm of possibility, even though the original plan appears to have been down-sized. Based on the current level of progress, $1 trillion may be the low estimate.

For those interested, I’d recommend a read of Ralph Vartabedian’s recent NYT article (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/09/us/california-high-speed-rail-politics.html). Mr. Vartabedian has been a long-time source of information related to the boondoggle train-to-nowhere. On a more amusing note (maybe not as amusing to those in favor of the union labor giveaway known as “high-speed” rail), I’d recommend a read of Thomas Buckley’s article from a few months ago (https://californiaglobe.com/articles/what-else-california-could-have-done-with-the-high-speed-rail-funds/).

As I said in a recent post, if the project continues to be funded I predict all folks currently alive won’t see the realization of the original high-speed rail plan, or possibly any sort of plan from SF to LA. Actually, I’d posit that someone beginning their union labor job at the high-speed rail project could work their entire career on the project (unless, mercifully, this union labor giveaway is canceled).

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