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Friday, December 16, 2011

Cost Benefit Analysis Meets Out And Out Corruption

Here is the background.  Special interests want to build a high speed rail line between San Diego and San Francisco.  The original plan called for a cost of about $33 Billion, but that would be O.K. because riders would pay for the whole thing and make a profit for the train.  But when you look carefully at the original plan and compare it with reality, you find that virtually everyone who flies between Los Angeles and San Francisco would have to give up flying and take the train.

Now fast forward to today.  There is now a new plan and, among other things, the San Diego to Los Angeles segment is gone.  In addition, stops all through the Central Valley are removed.

But here is the real deal.  The cost has TRIPLED to about $99 Billion and the project is still supposed to make a profit to attract private investment (which it isn't) by making a profit.  For that to happen, ridership would have to also TRIPLE!!  Since virtually all people traveling between LA and SF were accounted for in the original plan, the new plan requires a HUGE increase in imaginary riders.

And there you have Cost/Benefit Analysis.

Now for the corruption part.  Here is today's Los Angeles Times.

"U.S. staunch in backing bullet train

The Obama administration vowed Thursday at a House committee meeting in Washington that is would not back down from its support of California's bullet train project despite attacks from critics who alleged it is tainted by political corruption.....................

It is clear that high speed rail is not about jobs...It is about corruption, public deception and bureaucratic experimentation..........."

You can read the rest of the article online. 

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