California’s Bullet Train Just Gets Better and Better

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California’s bullet train gets more appealing with every new business plan:

California will need to double down on support of the bullet train by digging deeper into the state’s wallet and accepting a three-year delay in completing the project’s initial leg, a new business plan for the 220-mph system shows.

….The new plan calls for completion of the entire system by 2029, one year later than under the old business plan. Once the initial system starts showing a profit, the business plan asserts, private investors would jump in with an estimated $21 billion, based on financial calculations.

….The 99-page plan and its backup technical documents again raise questions about service and speed. A sample operating schedule does not show any nonstop trains between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The fastest travel time between the cities would be 3 hours and 14 minutes, not the 2 hours and 40 minutes many people expect.

Yes, I’m sure private investors will be panting to invest, just like they’ve invested so much in iffy high-speed rail construction elsewhere in the world. They’ll be especially eager in another few years, when this project will undoubtedly be forecast to open around 2040 or so, and estimates of LA-SF travel time will be four hours. Who could say no?

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And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

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