California's Governor Jerry Brown and an entourage of public officials and corporate executives has spent much of the last week traveling around China trying to drum up business for the state. One of his principal objectives is to entice Chinese investors to take a stake in the California high-speed rail project. From the Governor's perspective, this makes all sense in the world. read more »
Top GOP Budget Officials Call for Investigation of Xpress West High Speed Train from Victorville to Los Angeles
Congressman Paul Ryan, chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee and Sen. Jeff Sessions, Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee have expressed serious reservations on the proposed taxpayer loan to the Xpress West high-speed rail line that would operate two thirds of the way between Los Angeles and Las Vegas (from Victorville). read more »
The Reason Foundation has released our "Xpress West" (formerly "DesertXpress") analysis. This high speed rail train would run from Victorville (90 miles from downtown Los Angeles) to Las Vegas. Promoters predict high ridership and profits. They are seeking a subsidized federal loan of more than $5.5 billion, which is within the discretionary authority of the US Department of Transportation to fund.
Our analysis concludes the following: read more »
Decidedly, early June has not been the best of times for the California high-speed rail project. read more »
I’m back from a California trip – beautiful state, beautiful weather, completely dysfunctional government. For example, even with massive fiscal problems it’s still trying to build a vastly expensive high-speed rail line from San Francisco to San Diego. On a related note, a private group is exploring building a Houston-Dallas HSR line with no subsidies of any kind. I’m totally okay with private efforts. read more »
Differing views on the future of California urban areas are the subject of a California Senate Republican Caucus report (Briefing Report: Attack On The Suburbs: SB 375 And Its Effects On The Housing Market). read more »
When I moved to Los Angeles 30 years ago, Ocean Front Walk in Venice Beach looked like a hippie parody. It had a counter-cultural veneer, but didn’t rate as an authentic bohemian hot spot.
Contrast, for example, with New York’s East Village with its revolutionaries, junkies, artists and various iconoclasts living side-by-side. read more »
A new strategy is beginning to emerge toward California’s embattled high-speed rail venture. The strategy is designed to rescue the project from a possible defeat at the hands of the state legislature, gain friends and supporters among local transportation agencies, win converts among independent analysts and turn around a largely skeptical public. read more »
Seldom has public opinion and expert judgment been more unified than in its opposition to the California high-speed rail project. The project has been criticized by its own Peer Review Group, the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO), the California State Auditor, the State Treasurer and a group of independent experts (Enthoven, Grindley, Warren et al.). In addition, the bullet train has come under severe criticism by influential state legislators and by members of the state's congressional delegation. read more »
Kevin Drum of Mother Jones reports on the highly questionable "cost of alternatives" that has been routinely repeated by proponents of the California high speed rail project, in an article entitled "California High Speed Rail Even More Ridiculous than Before." read more »