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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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