After California's $100 Billion Light Rail to Nowhere, Biden May Fund More California Rail No One Needs

Californians love their cars as much as California Democrats love massive rail projects that never get built and just exist to siphon off money to special interests.

Take California's $100 billion light rail to nowhere project.

After 12 years of delays, mismanagement, and political gridlock, the total cost estimate for the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) has reached $100 billion.  Initially budgeted at $35 billion, former California Gov. Jerry Brown’s dream of uniting California’s coastal metropolises and parts of the Central Valley has transformed into a disjointed, mismanaged fiscal nightmare with rising costs every single year following its inception.

Democrats want another $4 billion + bond for the endless project that no one wants and that no one will use.

Fresh off the triumph of the train that may possibly exist in the 2030s so that no one will ride it, there's another brilliant rail plan. Why bother finish your neverending project when you can just hop to another neverending project that no one needs.

The plan still includes no commitments from the private sector, although authority officials say they are encouraged by other private proposals including building a 180-mile high-speed train link between Las Vegas and Southern California and are working closely with developer Virgin Trains USA.

Private proposal. With no taxpayer money. Right.

Proposed federal infrastructure funding for rail projects has transportation planners taking another look at a Los Angeles-to-Las Vegas passenger route that Amtrak stopped in 1997 

The measure might provide funding for Brightline West’s project that would have passenger trains whisking at up to 200 mph (322 kph) on a route generally along the busy interstate, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported...

Amtrak service from 1978 and 1997 between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City included Las Vegas. It was called the Desert Wind.

Funny how, like most of Amtrak, it's defunct. Could there be a reason for it?

Randal O’Toole, a Cato Institute senior fellow specializing in land use and transportation issues, raised questions in a report responding to Biden’s infrastructure plan about whether demand exists for the Desert Wind route or others proposed by Amtrak.

He noted that four bus companies offer Los Angeles-Las Vegas service roughly every half-hour taking as little as five hours and 10 minutes at fares starting at $20.

“Eight different airlines offer Los Angeles-Las Vegas service with 70- to 80-minute flights roughly every half-hour at fares that also start at, believe it or not, $20,” O’Toole said. “Where is Amtrak going to fit into this market?”

In the lucrative market of giving cash to politically connected Democrats.

The Brightline West pitch is that it's going to make the trip in "approximately 3 hours" by running "the fastest train in the United States". Anyone who has ever used Amtrak is already rolling their eyes.

Brightline West is expected to cost $8 billion in order to cut down a trip that people make by car by 2-3 hours. And for which plenty of cheap flights are available with a travel time of half that.

But it's okay. Taxpayers have lots of money to generously pass on to Democrat donors, special interests, and contractors.


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