Saturday, March 31, 2012

High Speed Choo-Choo Update - End of the Line?

This is normally Dean's turf, but this article made me so happy, I had to post. From the LA Times Headline:

Bid to appease bullet train critics may violate law
Revisions are in conflict with the ballot measure approved by voters and may go against the Obama administration's plans.

It seems that all the changes being made to this boondoggle are violating the terms of Proposition 1A. Some provisions that can't be met and would violate the law:
  • Any initial segment has to use high-speed trains. Instead, the rail authority has agreed to run fewer trains at slower speeds on tracks shared with commuter rail systems.
  • Passengers must be able to board in Los Angeles and arrive in San Francisco without changing trains.
  • The system is supposed to run without taxpayer subsidies. I can't stop laughing at that requirement.

King's County is suing, "two of its residents alleges that the plan to start construction in the Central Valley is also illegal" and the Calwhine blog is reporting that the Howard Jarvis taxpayer association will also be engaging. He reports on an email from Jon Coupal of the association:

“We don’t see how these bonds could ever be issued with such a significant legal cloud hanging over them,” he wrote in an email to me. “In addition to the existing legal challenges, it is likely that multiple parties would jump into any validation action filed by the state seeking to inoculate the financing. Wall Street itself may demand that the issue be revisited by the voters.”

It's hard to describe my jubilation in the firm belief that the taxpayers won't get bilked. H/T Temple of Mut.

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