California Bullet Train Will Require Subsidies

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Even I’m a little tired of my obsession with the California bullet train, but here’s the latest anyway:

The state rail authority is moving ahead with a plan to issue a massive contract for tracks and an electrical system that would enable bullet train service in the Central Valley. But when the service starts in 2028, it would lose money that the state would absorb, according to consultants for the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

In other words, it would require subsidies, despite clear language in the original bond measure that no subsidies would be allowed.

So the bullet train will cost far more than originally planned; have lower ridership than promised; extend only from Bakersfield to Merced (a “starter system”); require subsidies; and barely go fast enough to deserve the name “bullet” in the first place. Other than that, though, everything is great.

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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