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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Edward Ring

Why Aren’t Unions Fighting California’s Bullet Train Boondoggle?

Back in 2008, voters in California approved Prop. 1, a statewide initiative to spend, “$9 billion for building a new high-speed railroad between San Francisco and Los Angeles.”

Total cost, $9.5 billion. Remember that?

Quoting further from the original initiative’s ballot language:

“Bond Costs. The costs of these bonds would dependon interest rates in effect at the time they are sold andthe time period over which they are repaid. The statewould make principal and interest payments from thestate’s General Fund over a period of about 30 years.If the bonds are sold at an average interest rate of 5percent, the cost would be about $19.4 billion to payoff both principal ($9.95 billion) and interest ($9.5billion). The average repayment for principal andinterest would be about $647 million per year.Operating Costs. When constructed, the high-speedrail system will incur unknown ongoing maintenanceand operation costs, probably in excess of $1 billion ayear. Depending on the level of ridership, these costswould be at least partially offset by revenue from farespaid by passengers.” (ref.UC Hastings ScholarshipRead More