December 2, 2010

Political maneuvering at its finest

A poster child for why progressive government needs to be limited. From The Anti-Planner:
Fast Train to Nowhere
The federal government�s most recent $900 million grant to the California High-Speed Rail Authority came with a string attached: most of the money had to be spent, not in Los Angeles or San Francisco where most potential rail patrons are located, but in the central valley. Handed out just before the election, the grant was a blatant attempt to help the re-election effort of U.S. Representative Jim Costa. It might have made a difference, for despite the fact that Costa�s district leans heavily Democrat, he won over an unknown Republican candidate by a mere 3,000 votes.

But now California has to deal with the fact that it only has enough funds to build a high-speed train to nowhere. The authority expects to vote tomorrow on whether to start construction from Borden to Corcoran. To be fair, the route would go through Fresno, but it wouldn�t take anyone in Fresno to anywhere they might want to go at a high speed: Borden is barely a dot on the map, while Corcoran is the home of Charles Manson and his fellow prisoners.
And of course, it is well known that, given the initial cost of a light rail system, you would be better off by buying each of the commuters a Prius and that for the operating costs of a light rail system, you could buy each commuter enough gasoline for 10,000 miles of driving. These numbers have proven themselves in Phoenix, Los Angeles and Albuquerque. In addition, it steals money away from successful alternative means of public transportation -- busses, etc... Posted by DaveH at December 2, 2010 1:45 PM
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