December 15, 2016

Do we really know how many people are going to want to shuttle between San Jose and Bakersfield in 2025.

I'm reading about that high-speed train line. That thing in California they've been working on so long, with a price tag that currently reads $64 billion.
A segment between San Jose and a station near Bakersfield is expected to begin operating in 2025. The target date for the San Francisco-Los Angeles line isn’t until 2029.
If it ever happens, that "high speed" trip from SF to LA will take 2 hours and 40 minutes. After waiting for 2029 to get here, that is.

You know, you can walk from San Francisco to LA in 138 hours.

180 comments:

mockturtle said...

I'd be very surprised if anyone wanted to shuttle from San Jose to Bakersfield.

Original Mike said...

Do we really know how many people are going to want to shuttle between San Jose and Bakersfield in 2025.

I'm guessing zero, give or take.

MikeR said...

My mother in California is against the high-speed train. She never opposed a liberal project in her life, AFAIK. It must be a _really_ bad idea.

Brando said...

Seems more like a "hey lets build jobs" project than a "we actually need this for our infrastructure" project. Trains work in dense city centers too close to justify air travel. Is there really demand for that in CA?

If they had the extra track space, I could see a DC-NY high speed rail--if you could cover that distance in an hour it'd be far better an option than flying (and even more so if they could stop in Baltimore or Philly, though stops would slow it down significantly). Though Amtrak can improve on its current run simply by eliminating all stops between DC and NY except Philly and Baltimore. By my count that'd be about six stops, give or take depending on the run. Each stop adds about fifteen minutes between stopping and slowing down time, so you could shave over an hour from the current 4 hour ride.

Original Mike said...

Hadn't they better hurry up and build that thing before they secede from the Union?

Michael K said...

California is run by lunatics. I am out of here in a month. I hope The Big One holds off that long.

The state has doubled population since the last water infrastructure was built. The glorious agricultural part of the state is dying and the lefties in coastal enclaves think food comes from Whole Foods.

I drove through the central valley last August and it was sickening.

eric said...

California is the next Venezuela.

And the rest of us are going to have to pay for it.

These sorts of projects have zero to do with improving anyone's life. The reason behind it is political payoffs. Politicians and their cronies invest in and receive jobs and monies from these projects. All indirectly.

Lots of people should be jailed because of stuff like this.

Bay Area Guy said...

Nobody wants to ride a high speed train from San Jose to Bakersfield.

Heck, few folks want to visit Bakersfield from anywhere . (MockTurtle beat me to it)

Bakersfield is like Riverside, but without the charm:)

The Left is gonna milk the Golden Goose of California as long as it can.

But, for those lucky folks who own homes, or buildings or apartments in the San Francisco Bay area, well, life is pretty good.

Do you know the way to San Jose?

Greg Hlatky said...

But!.. But!.. The Europeans have them!

PB said...

Then there's the travel to and from the train station plus waiting time which adds another 3-4 hours to the trip for a total of 5:38 and 6:38 hours.

Just drive.

The Cracker Emcee said...

Hispanic gang members, mostly.

Matthew Sablan said...

At least the people in Bakersfield will know the way to San Jose.

FleetUSA said...

The CA equivalent of MA's Big Dig. At least the Big Dig was useful after completion.

lgv said...

What a ridiculous question. Demand has nothing to do with it. It is a concept that wins regardless of demand. It's the "Field of Dreams" economic analysis.

Every day I watch a near empty DART (Dallas Area) train speed by me on the way to work. It is fairly common that one direction of the route will be empty. I looked at the financial reports. Customer revenues cover 10% of the cost of operations. The other 90% is covered by a sales tax. So, those who don't ride DART subsidize 90% of the cost of those who do.

I think the CA high speed rail is a wonderful project. It will cost over a $100 billion and not be completed until after I die. In the meantime it will cripple the CA economy and make Texas even more preferable.

alan markus said...

Get rid of that pesky Electoral College thing and maybe they will get mahogany

Sorry - could not find one without an ad.

Hopefully all they get is the Trump train

Balfegor said...

Re: Greg Hlatky:

But!.. But!.. The Europeans have them!

Yeah . . . that's the pathetic thing about California today. It's a rich state. A very rich state. But it has the spending habits of a very poor country. High speed rail in CA is basically a cargo cult. Developed European countries have them, so if we have them too, we can be like Europe!

BJM said...

Actually, even if one did want to go to Bakersfield, the station is at a dusty rural junction 23 miles from Bakersfield. How one gets to Bakersfield proper hasn't been addressed, probably buses.

Boondoggle doesn't begin to describe the train to nowhere.

Yancey Ward said...

If it actually gets finished, the final cost is likely to be north of $200 billion dollars, and it will never cover its own operating expenses in any year.

My prediction is that it is never finished- the next recession will put the kibosh on it.

Richard said...

When the Atlas Shrugged Movie can out in 2011, it was set in the future, but they came up with a contrived explanation for why trains were the current mode of transportation. The Left found this to be amusing. What is the matter with these Ayn Rand accolytes? Don’t then know that trains are an outmoded form of transportation. I guess California didn't get the message.

Ryan said...

I live in LA and can confirm that nobody goes to Bakersfield. It's literally the middle of nowhere.

Quaestor said...

Every time I read about that typically Californian absurdity I think of this.

Original Mike said...

"Actually, even if one did want to go to Bakersfield, the station is at a dusty rural junction 23 miles from Bakersfield. How one gets to Bakersfield proper hasn't been addressed, probably buses."

That's priceless.

Bob Boyd said...

Trains are for moving freight and communists. – David Burge

Peter said...

Perhaps, but Google's 138 hours only counts the actual walking time (~3mph), as it allows zero time for sleeping, eating, resting, etc.

Besides, I'm reading "The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047" by Lionel Shriver, and I figure things could get a whole lot worse.

https://www.amazon.com/Mandibles-Family-2029-2047-Lionel-Shriver/dp/0062328247/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1481824314&sr=8-1&keywords=the+mandibles

Original Mike said...

Has the federal government given CA much money for this yet? Surely Trump won't be sending them any more.

Yancey Ward said...

Whenever I read the name Bakersfield in connection to this first train section, I always think of Tom Hanks in Castaway when he finds the piece of port-a-potty.

Ryan said...

I can also confirm that hardly anyone rides trains. I've lived here 12 years and rode the train ONCE from LA to SD. It was a waste of time. Took about twice as long as driving, and that factors in the 405 freeway traffic. Nobody I know rides the train to go outside of LA. The metro within LA is used, however. You can now get from downtown to the beach, although again it takes twice as long as driving.

rehajm said...

..the station is at a dusty rural junction 23 miles from Bakersfield.

This is why you begin the project there instead of at the urban end in SF or LA. Dump $50 billion into the nowhere part and suddenly the project is sunk-cost-fallacy-too-far-along-to-stop.

Oh, and remember when we thought it was going to cost $64 Billion? Well, we were waaaay off!

Lance said...

You can drive from LA to SF in under six hours. You don't have to wait for the train, you can leave anytime. When you get to SF you'll have a vehicle to drive. You can return any time you like, you won't need to wait for the train. Depending on the vehicle, you'll have room for one, three, four, or more people to ride with you, at minimal additional cost.

richardsson said...

The whole thing is so incredibly stupid. LA to San Francisco takes about 40 minutes on a shuttle flight. Why would anyone not prefer that to careening through the dreary San Joaguin Valley? Anyway, this "railroad" is not being proposed, designed, or build by anyone in the real railroad business. That should make people suspicious. Why not? Because real railroads are for freight.

Unknown said...

It takes 31 years to count to a billion.

Original Mike said...

"This is why you begin the project there instead of at the urban end in SF or LA. Dump $50 billion into the nowhere part and suddenly the project is sunk-cost-fallacy-too-far-along-to-stop."

Yep, that's exactly what's happening.

MayBee said...

Much like I thought Trump wouldn't stay in the election past the financial disclosure phase, I never thought they would actually go forward with this thing.

John Scott said...

Time to fly gate to gate from SF to LA: 1:20. Miles from LAX to Silicon Beach: 4-8. Miles from Union Station to Silicon Beach: 19-23.

Sebastian said...

"Do we really know how many people are going to want to shuttle between San Jose and Bakersfield in 2025." From the Almanac of Irrelevant Questions. This is prog planning, after all. Cost/benefit has nothing to do with it.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Migrant farm workers?

Paddy O said...

Meanwhile, technology is advancing to the point where commutes will be increasingly outdated.

I hear California is also going to invest millions in blacksmithing schools

Curious George said...

$64 Billion? That would build a lot of wall.

marybeth said...

Is it a better idea than New Coke?

David said...

They did a very sophisticated analysis.

"A shitload, give or take a few" was the conclusion.

bagoh20 said...

Not a single one of the proponents' claims about this project has come true, including the constantly revised ones. It's a train to bullshittown.

Rumpletweezer said...

There are people who've wanted a high-speed train between Baltimore and Washington for decades now. The last time a project was proposed it would go through my neighborhood. The claim was that it would take cars off the roads. It might stop at BWI airport. It would cut the trip from 45 minutes to 20 minutes and cost about $40 one way. And they had ridership projections that would justify the multi-billion dollar expense. How convenient. They have to lie about these things just to get anybody thinking about such hair-brained schemes.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

If this ever carries a significant number of people at a reasonably high speed, what are the chances of it not being a terrorist target?

So add airport style security checkpoints to your travel time. They won't do any good, since a train's tracks can be sabotaged in a way that an airplane's air cannot, but the security checkpoints will show up none-the-less. Because the security checkpoints will need to be manned by federal employees, subsidized by federal dollars.

bagoh20 said...

By the time it's it's done, I bet my driverless car gets me door to door faster, and I can go to sleep the moment I leave the house. Most of the time of using mass transit is getting to the station, waiting to get on, then the stops on the way, and then getting from the station to your destination.

The only way the train would be faster is you are a homeless guy going from your cardboard box at the S.F. station to your vacation box at the L.A. station. I expect that fair subsidies will assure that most passengers are of this profile.

Steven said...

It's possible to design high-speed rail that would make sense in the US, you know. It's just not possible to get it financed and built.

What design would work? Zero-stops short segments traveling from airport to airport (that is, places already designed to handle the interface of one transport system with the automotive network), using dedicated track. For example, DFW-Houston, Houston-San Antonio, and San Antonio-DFW. You could fairly easily have speed competitive with airlines (once you adjusted for time in security lines and such) combined with superior physical comfort/amenities/Internet connectivity during travel.

The trouble is, you need to acquire land along the routes, and every local community and grasping politician along the route gets nothing at all from a no-stops train running through the area, and all the incentive in the world to hold your construction hostage for payoffs. They'd ally with the very airlines you'd be competing with -- my suggested routes are, after all, the original core of the Southwest Airlines, and there are local equivalents other places it makes sense. Even with private financing, you'd need government cover to actually build, and you don't have the goodies to hand out . . .

Michael McClain said...

Looks like another "too big to fail" project. It's an example of project with vast opportunities for graft and corruption.

Michael K said...

Developed European countries have them, so if we have them too, we can be like Europe!

France has the TGV that I have ridden. The infrastructure, including stations and rights of way, have been there since the 1860s.

The TGV is nice and there are only a few places anyone wants to go in France by train.

California has insanely expensive real estate and there are NO rights of way. They were all discarded 50 years ago There is NO infrastructure. They are beginning in Bakersfield because the Central Valley is empty and the agriculture has been pretty well killed off by the water Nazis. They will NEVER get rights of way through the Bay Area or Los Angeles.

This makes no sense, which is an attraction for the left. Twenty years ago, when I cared, I suggested (I was on a Transportation board) that a tunnel be drilled through the mountains between Orange County where the jobs are and Riverside County where the workers live. There are tunneling machines that do the complete job including lining the tunnel with concrete. They are expensive but so is building freeways. The tunnel could have three tubes with one a train track that might really be used.

The project was cancelled because people who lived at the Orange County end did not want all those cars going by on their way to work. All the traffic would have been by Riverside residents. The present Freeway commute is about two hours each way.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

But...But...how are people ever going to see the Buck Owens Crystal Palace if can't light rail into downtown Bakersfield?!


Won't somebody think of the children!

AJ Lynch said...

For just one-quarter of that $64 Billion, they could buy every year for 30 years 10,667 high- end SUV's at $50K each and have them self-drive the route 247's.

That would be an average of 444 SUV's leaving the station every hour 247. If every SUV carried 4 people that would be almost 1800 per hour.

alan markus said...

Reminder that WI Governor Scott Walker is one hell of a genius

Michael said...

This has been an insane project from the outset with pro choo choo forces fudging the numbers of projected riders, time to completion and, of course, cost. About a year ago they, the pro choo choo forces, admitted that their numbers hadn't really taken into account the insanely time consuming and costly penetration of the mountains, mountains which by the way are settled on top of some of the world's most pesky fault lines. It remains a pipe dream and will likely be incomplete twenty years from now. The route is not direct and there are many many stops planned between SF and LA, a feature not baked into high speed choo choo thinking.

Michael K said...

"For just one-quarter of that $64 Billion, they could buy every year for 30 years"

Think about how many desalination plants could be bought for drought ridden southern California with that money. They are about $100 million each. Israel has a flourishing agriculture using them.

FullMoon said...

eric said... [hush]​[hide comment]



These sorts of projects have zero to do with improving anyone's life. The reason behind it is political payoffs. Politicians and their cronies invest in and receive jobs and monies from these projects. All indirectly.

Lots of people should be jailed because of stuff like this.


Would be interesting to see serious investigation as to whom has bought up propert along the route. Kinda like the old western movies where the robber baron knows the RR is coming and cuts the water off to force farmers to sell their land cheap, then resells to RR.
Coincidentally, water has been cut off to central valley in order to "save" a useless bait fish

EDH said...

Far Away Eye

I was driving home early Sunday morning through Bakersfield
Listening to gospel music on the colored radio station
And the preacher said, you know you always have the Lord by your side
And I was so pleased to be informed of this that I ran
Twenty red lights in his honor
Thank you Jesus, thank you Lord

Well the preacher kept right on saying that all I had to do was send
$64 billion dollars to the church of the Sacred Bleeding Heart Of Jesus
Located somewhere in Los Angeles, California
And next week they'd say my prayer on the radio
And all my dreams would come true
So I did, the next week, I got a prayer with a girl
Well, you know what kind of eyes she got, well I'll tell ya

So if you're down on your luck
I know you all sympathize
Find a girl with far away eyes
And if you're downright disgusted
And life ain't worth a dime
Get a girl with far away eyes

Freeman Hunt said...

Is there any consumer demand for this?

Michael said...

Malaga to Madrid is a not dissimilar distance and is connected by high speed train that takes a nice 3 hours plus or minus. Smooth road and speeds of up to 300 KPH. One stop in Cordoba. No tunnels. Agricultural landscape. Like all high speed choo choos this one only rarely hits top speed.

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

The perfect corridor for high speed train is L.A. to Vegas. Plenty of passengers that would fill up the thing both ways. Nothing in between to stop for, and pure desert wasteland all the way, so cheap to build. Even driving a car you can do over 90 mph the whole way, but nobody wants to because you have to concentrate, can't move around, can't drink, and you're burning expensive gasoline and car mileage. A high speed train with expensive drinks would make a fortune, save lives and be great for Vegas business. Most of the track would be in California, but it would mostly benefit Nevada, so my guess is that's why it's not there.

Michael K said...

" Most of the track would be in California, but it would mostly benefit Nevada, so my guess is that's why it's not there."

It was proposed some years ago but they could not raise the money. Jerry Brown has taxpayers.

Larvell said...

Captain Esteban: Caballeros! I believe you all know each other?
Don Diego: Don Diego from San Fernando.
Don Francisco: Don Francisco from San Jose.
Don Fernando: Don Fernando from San Diego.
Don Jose: Don Jose from San Bernardino.
Luis Obispo: Luis Obispo from Bakersfield.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Here's interesting article about high speed rail in Europe hurting affordable rail travel.

Alex said...

Michael K...
I drove through the central valley last August and it was sickening.

Care to elaborate?

Original Mike said...

"Think about how many desalination plants could be bought for drought ridden southern California with that money."

This is the kind of crap that just makes me want to tear what little hair I have left out. This is a rich country if we would spend it wisely.

mockturtle said...

I liked the high-speed trains in Japan but, then, I wouldn't want to drive there.

buwaya puti said...

Weirdly enough I have frequently taken the AMTRAK San Joaquin Limited (there already is a Central Valley passenger train) to Bakersfield (and other spots down through there, Modesto, Fresno, etc) several times on business, and we rode back to SF on it once, (bus LA to Bakersfield) having taken the Coast Starlight to LA. I'm also a frequent customer of the AMTRAK Capitol Express, to Sacramento.

AMTRAK loves me.

We already have AMTRAK.

Yes, this is a ridiculous boondoggle. They could far more cheaply set up a bus fleet, fueled by natural gas perhaps, down I-5. Heck, there are such already. Heck, that would go about as fast as this new train, as would the already existing AMTRAK which is mainly limited in speed by the curvy right of way going through the waterways and hills from Stockton to Richmond. This whole thing is entirely unnecessary.

Original Mike said...

"I liked the high-speed trains in Japan but, then, I wouldn't want to drive there."

Well for starters, they drive on the wrong side of the road.

Alex said...

It's not even anything close to the Japanese bullet-train tech which is already 50 years old. CA is just pure retarded.

buwaya puti said...

Central Valley - dry fields lying fallow and choked with weeds.
Lots of ripped-up almond orchards (you see these around Oakdale, etc.).

robother said...

Finally, the musical traditions of San Jose and Bakersfield can blend, producing a unique sound. Call it Buck Bacharach!

Unknown said...

THe train claims were given during those heady days of debating Obamacare and just as honest.

Meade said...

alan markus said...
"Reminder that WI Governor Scott Walker is one hell of a genius"

We in Wisconsin dodged a bullet train.

Meade said...

"Buck Bacharach"

lol

Rae said...

It was only ever a money sink to justify an increasing budget. It won't happen, once California secedes and is annexed by Mexico soon after.

Michael K said...

Michael K...
I drove through the central valley last August and it was sickening.

Care to elaborate?


About ten years ago, friends form England visited California and I decided to show them the state. We have been friends a long time and they <a href='http://abriefhistory.org/?page_id=5582"> recently entertained us on a trip to Belgium. </a>

Anyway, I showed them the central valley, then in full flower and we drive to Yosemite and then to the wine country. I wanted them to see the real state, not Los Angeles which has become a slum mostly.

The past August, we drove to Oregon to visit family. The change was dramatic. Fields are dead or dying. Orchards are dying. Many have been ripped out. Everywhere there are signs complaining about the shut off of water which has devastated Fresno and the small cities of the farther valley toward Sacramento. Irrigation has been sharply curtailed and much has been cut off by federal judges concerned about the "Delta Smelt" a small bait fish that likes turbine pumps.

The rest is the consequence of a failure to build infrastructure while the state population was doubling. There has been no new water project in 50 years. The history ends <a href="http://www.water.ca.gov/swp/history.cfm"> in 1957. </a>

Michael K said...

they recently entertained us on a trip to Belgium.

steve uhr said...

Im sure the new magician in the White House can do it in five years for 10 billion.

Crazy Jane said...

Steven said: The trouble is, you need to acquire land along the routes, and every local community and grasping politician along the route gets nothing at all from a no-stops train running through the area, and all the incentive in the world to hold your construction hostage for payoffs.

In addition to this, think of wonderful, wonderful Amtrak, which runs a deficit of as much as $300 per passenger on routes through less populated states and has stops in every congressional district it crosses. The only justifiable location for Amtrak is the compact BoWash corridor, where it generally runs late. What's not to like?

Elon Musk will complete the hyperloop before this boondoggle is up and running.

Fritz said...

Ryan said...
I live in LA and can confirm that nobody goes to Bakersfield. It's literally the middle of nowhere.


Nonsense; when I lived in LA, I drove through Bakersfield many time on my way too and from Oregon. I don't think I ever stopped, though.

Gk1 said...

Complete fucking waste of money. We will have personal flying cars by the time this gold plated boondoggle makes its first trip from L.A to S.F. What a joke!

lemondog said...

State of California Debt Clock

lemondog said...

And California Public Pension Debt Soars to $1.4 Trillion in 2016, Up 45% in Just Two Years

Paddy O said...

"The perfect corridor for high speed train is L.A. to Vegas. Plenty of passengers that would fill up the thing both ways."

I've been suggesting this for years. If I had an entrepreneurial skill and money, I'd invest in it. Anyone trying to drive on the 15 on Weekends or holidays can see the benefit, with both the traffic and accidents being huge problems. There's no need for a car on the Strip in Vegas, and people can drink to their hearts content without worrying about it. It could run back and forth all night and still be filled up.

Another useful one would be San Fran to Tahoe, as the 80 is like the 15 on weekends, but there's still need for transportation up there.

Tina848 said...

Why can't we fly? There are several commercial airlines who already provide service from LA to San Francisco?

Next issue: How to get people to take said train? No one wants to be beholden to a train schedule. They like their cars.

I like the idea of LA to Vegas, THAT could be profitable. However, you could also have a charter bus company do it, for a lot less in infrastructure. HOL and 80+ mph.

eric said...

Blogger Alex said...
Michael K...
I drove through the central valley last August and it was sickening.

Care to elaborate?


They killed the central valley. We used to drive through their and it was beautiful. An oasis in the desert. All sorts of farms as far as the eye could see. Driving from Bakersfield to Sacramento there is nothing. It's empty land. Filled up with farms and farm communities.

Now it's all dead. Dead or dying. There's no water. Idiots like Obama blame drought and global warming. It's a fucking desert! A desert that scientific increases in engineering and agriculture made into a lush land of farms. And the government, politicians, bureaucrats and the judicial branch turned into a wasteland.

A wasteland that is now worthless. Worthless, cheap, flat lands that one could easily buy up and build a railroad on.

Although currently the railroad doesn't go north of Bakersfield, as far as I know.

Either way, it's criminal what they've done.

Gk1 said...

Southwest leaves from SFO to LAX on the hour. I can fly it for $90 round trip most of the time, peak hours $200. Door to door It takes me 2-1/2 hours to get to where I need to go in L.A. Why do we need a train to do this?!?! It will take a real governor, with basic maths kills, to do the right thing and put this out of its misery.

Bay Area Guy said...

Just got home from Illinois lock the front door oh boy
Got to set down take a rest on the porch
Fascination sets in pretty soon I'm singing
Doot doot doot looking out my back door


Giant doing cartwheels a statue wearing high heels
Look at all the happy creatures dancing on the lawn
Dinosaur victrola listening to Buck Owens
Doot doot doot looking out my back door


-John Fogerty, Credence Clearwater Revival (from El Cerrito, CA)

Todd said...

Brando said...
Seems more like a "hey lets build jobs" project than a "we actually need this for our infrastructure" project. Trains work in dense city centers too close to justify air travel. Is there really demand for that in CA?

12/15/16, 11:24 AM


In that case, it would be far less destructive and invasive [and just as useful as the planned high speed rail] if they just paid a bunch of folks to dig holes in the desert and then paid them to fill them back in, wash, rinse, repeat...

readering said...

Californians visit Japan, France, China and see wonderful high speed rail and think, why not here? But it's a bridge too far. The San Jose-Bakersfield leg is the path of least resistance, relatively easy to build. Then we shall proceed to throw good money after bad.

Skipper said...

By 2029, we'll probably have Star Trek transporters.

Meade said...

"Southwest leaves from SFO to LAX on the hour. I can fly it for $90 round trip most of the time, peak hours $200. "

Very good point.

The proposed train here was mostly about connecting Chicago and Minneapolis (with Milwaukee and Madison along the way). I see I can right now buy a round trip ticket for a 1 hour 45 min flight on American Airlines, Minneapolis/Chicago, non-stop, for $77 bucks.

Big Mike said...

@Brando, the Acela isn't fast enough for you? It isn't as fast as the French TGV because it runs on regular rails, but once you factor in getting through TSA and cab rides from the airports to downtown, it's actually faster to take the Acela from Union Station in the heart of downtown DC to Penn Station in New York than to fly. According to the Wiki article, the Acela currently handles 75% of the total rail and aviation traffic between New York and Washington, DC.

@buwaya puti, what would it cost to improve the superelevation of the curves, upgrade the overall existing trackage, and eliminate street-level crossings to get a reasonably high speed route between San Francisco and LA using existing rail routes? A lot less than $64B, I imagine. However this is complicated by the fact that the current Amtrak Coast Starlight only gets to Oakland and San Jose, not into San Francisco.

robother said...

"L.A. is a great big freeway
Put a hundred down and buy a car
In a week, maybe two, they'll make you a star..."

"Well, I hope you come and see me in the movie
Then I'll know that you will plainly see
The biggest fool that's ever hit the big time
And all I gotta do is act naturally."

rhhardin said...

The convention is you skim a small percentage of a huge amount and do well. It doesn't matter what the huge amount is spent on.

Original Mike said...

per lemondog: California has hit the big time! They have their own debt clock.

Succession is looking better all the time.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Blogger steve uhr said...
Im sure the new magician in the White House can do it in five years for 10 billion.
12/15/16, 1:43 PM


Or not at all, for $0, because it's a stupid idea.

Original Mike said...

Is there anyway I and a group of like minded Wisconsinites could get a referendum on succession on the California ballot?

We don't have to be residents, do we? Just consider us undocumented Californians.

George said...

The full line will never--CAN never--be built. There's no way that the Left's desire for it can overcome the institutional barriers that the Left has put into place to block/prevent/delay major infrastructure projects.

Meade said...

"Is there anyway I and a group of like minded Wisconsinites could get a referendum on succession on the California ballot? "

I wish you success.

Sam L. said...

I am the 100th commenter, it seems, and my guess is that fewer than 100 people want that ride.

Original Mike said...

"I wish you success."

I had you in mind for my lieutenant.

Jay Vogt said...


"Do we really know how many people are going to want to shuttle between San Jose and Bakersfield in 2025."

Great question! The California HSR Commission expects a median ridership in 2029 of about 110,000 per day –presumably half northbound and half southbound. Or, assuming the train(s) run one per hour, twelve hours per day, every day, about 4,500 people per train each way.

You can probably squeeze about 100 people in a train car that’s 80 feet long, so each train would have to be just over a kilometer in length assuming 100% capacity utilization. Would need a pretty big station too.

. . . . . . that’s a lot of kinetic energy. I don’t think that I’d like to be around it.

#CALEXIT

gadfly said...

The original cost esimate from the 1990s for this high-speed railroad was $10 Billion. Then the estimate rose to $68 Billion and the experts think that number is far too low because the route requires 72 miles of tunnels (36 miles, both directions) including a 14-mile continuous tunnel that is 50% longer than any railroad tunnel in America. BTW, no one is permitted to interview the tunnel engineers. The LA Times revealed that a confidential 2013 report by the state's main project management contractor, New York-based Parsons Brinckerhoff, estimated that the cost of building the first phase from Burbank to Merced had risen 31% to $40 billion. But the state used a lower cost estimate when it issued its 2014 business plan four months later. Public works projects involving tunnels always cost 45-100% more than original estimates and nobody finishes on time.

Randal O'Toole, CATO Institute's resident transit expert points out that before any more money is spent, the bullet train is obsolete. Driverless cars will destroy high-speed rail, usher in a new golden age for individual transportation and undermine cities by encouraging longer commutes. Such self-driving cars will be a reality long before California first operates a high-speed train. If taxpayers are lucky, some future state governor will pull the plug and the state will never have to bear the burden of running such trains.

Meade said...

"I had you in mind for my lieutenant. "

If I'm not called to Trump Tower soon, I might very well forward to you my CV.

Michael said...

Two farmers were in a two holer outhouse when one finished his business and stood up. Out of his pocket some change fell into the latrine. Without missing a beat he buttoned up his coveralls, reached in his pocket and dropped a hundred dollar bill down in the hole. Jake, his partner shouted, why did you do that?

You don't think I'm going down there for fifty cents do you?

Original Mike said...

@Jay Vogt - I think your numbers are right. That's absurd.

Original Mike said...

"If I'm not called to Trump Tower soon, I might very well forward to you my CV."

Sec of Agriculture is still open.

rehajm said...

I see I can right now buy a round trip ticket for a 1 hour 45 min flight on American Airlines, Minneapolis/Chicago, non-stop, for $77 bucks.

$2-3 billion in ATC upgrades would cut that to 1hr 10min...and 25-30% off to anywhere else...

buwaya said...

Big Mike,

"what would it cost to improve the superelevation of the curves, upgrade the overall existing trackage, and eliminate street-level crossings to get a reasonably high speed route between San Francisco and LA using existing rail routes? A lot less than $64B, I imagine. However this is complicated by the fact that the current Amtrak Coast Starlight only gets to Oakland and San Jose, not into San Francisco."

There are major problems here -
The expensive bits are, worst of all, Bakerfield-LA, which does not have an existing rail route and runs through very rugged high country, even if it parallels I-5, and will have to have lots of curves or long tunnels. That's going to be a huge challenge. Its not that big a problem building a slow railroad through there, that's 19th century technology, but high speed rail is something else.

This would also be the main problem building an LA-Las Vegas route following I-15.

From Stockton to San Jose, also no current rail route, which would also have to run through high country, the Diablo range. The current rail route on the north end of the San Joaquin Limited run takes a curving detour around the high country along the banks of Suisun Bay and San Pablo Bay. I guess it wouldn't be too hard to put rail in more or less parallel to I-580 that runs through the Altamont pass, but that alone won't be cheap.

As soon as the thing gets to the flatland of the Bay Area its easy to get it to a junction with BART, at Livermore/Pleasanton probably, which should be fine to get anyone to San Francisco, Oakland/Berkeley or San Jose. The Fremont-North San Jose section is already under construction. I don't see why they would need to run the high speed rail thing all the way to downtown San Jose, BART will get there anyway.

buwaya said...

George -

"The full line will never--CAN never--be built. There's no way that the Left's desire for it can overcome the institutional barriers that the Left has put into place to block/prevent/delay major infrastructure projects."

That's correct. The bureaucratic monster does not only choke private enterprise, but the government too. But many people will make lots of money from this anyway.

Lewis Wetzel said...

The downside is that the project will be finished some day.
Wouldn't it create more jobs, and be even better for the economy, if you had a second team of workers behind the first, paid to tear the tracks up just after they were laid down?
And then another team behind that team, laying the tracks down again, and so on, until everybody had a job and the Cali economy was just humming along?

Bay Area Guy said...

The best movie ever set in Bakersfield: Clint Eastwood in "Every Which Way But Loose."

Yes, they made movies like this in the 70s.

Big Mike said...

The downside is that the project will be finished some day.

Concluded, yes. Completed, no.

Big Mike said...

@buwaya puti, my point is that there are already train tracks running from LA to San Jose; the "Coast Starlight" already uses them. Why build a totally new line? Why not upgrade the trackage that's already there and electrify it (necessary for high speed trains -- diesels don't cut it)? You don't need a stop in Bakersfield or anyplace else between LA and SF.

Michael K said...

"#CALEXIT"

My own personal one is a month from today.

mockturtle said...

Balfegor says: Yeah . . . that's the pathetic thing about California today. It's a rich state. A very rich state. But it has the spending habits of a very poor country. High speed rail in CA is basically a cargo cult. Developed European countries have them, so if we have them too, we can be like Europe!

Seattle is equally misguided. They have had numerous fiascos with their transit systems. I think the first week their monorail was operating, there was a stabbing. The gangs seem to use public transit more than most. And maybe everyone has heard of Big Bertha--the tunneling machine to make an underground transit line. Big Bertha's Continued Woes. The machine, itself, cost $80 million and they are estimating at least $223 million in cost overruns!

I lived in Seattle for many years and loved it but you couldn't pay me enough to ever go back. It is run by idiots.

mockturtle said...

And Big Bertha was stuck for months and no one knew what to do about it.

Mac McConnell said...

I don't see any problem with California high speed rail cost, now that they've solved their water problems. Fucking idiots.

Michael K said...

" Idiots like Obama blame drought and global warming. It's a fucking desert! "

Los Angeles pumped a lot of ground water our of Owens Valley in the 1920s. The water project replaced a lot of it in the 50s

Jerry Brown destroyed what his father built and, as best I can figure out, as a human sacrifice to the new religion, environmentalism/global warming.

When John Muir walked across from San Francisco about 1870, it was all flowers. He called it "a bee pasture."

Desalination is the solution, as Israel is proving. It is a mystery to me why Brown is not interested. He was a seminary student so is probably a fanatic.

OldManRick said...

The Bakersfield to LA segment will need to tunnel through the San Gabriel Mountains. These mountains were created by the interactions of the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate They sit astride the San Andreas fault.
(See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Andreas_Fault#Southern) Highway 138 between Gorman and Lancaster has a jog in it where it crosses the fault (I've driven it many times) and there are many other locations where you can see the slippage.

The whole idea of putting a high speed rail tunnel across such an active earthquake zone is the type of insanity that only politicians can come up with.

In addition, the trains will create a huge "Tunnel Boom" (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunnel_boom) as they come out of the tunnel in the San Fernando valley. It is not likely that the residents will put up with this for very long.

Sadly, I live in a state that would be better run by the tooth fairy than by Jerry "stop cow farts" Brown.

BJM said...

The full line will never--CAN never--be built. There's no way that the Left's desire for it can overcome the institutional barriers that the Left has put into place to block/prevent/delay major infrastructure projects.

Bingo! Santa Clara County has one of the most restrictive master land use plans in the country. This is why Silicon Valley/Peninsula home prices are through the roof and the freeway and bridges are bumper to bumper during commute hours.

BTW- Almonds are still being planted east of Oakdale by the thousands of acres by Bay Area investment groups, pumping water from the massive aquifer that sits between the Stanislaus and San Joaquin rivers. The eastern side of the Valley has runoff/snowpack fed rivers, deep aquifers and surface water storage so we can better withstand drought.

The westside, as you drive north of Fresno on I5, those are the small towns, farms, vineyards and orchards that were sacrificed to the Delta Smelt.

Original Mike said...

"And Big Bertha was stuck for months and no one knew what to do about it."

I wondered what they were going to do. I followed your link to learn that they dug a big hole to get it out. In retrospect, I guess, that's all they could have done.

I wonder what they would have done if it the tunnel had been underwater?

Jeff said...

Seems more like a "hey lets build jobs" project than a "we actually need this for our infrastructure" project.

Give 'em spoons.

Milton Friedman once traveled to an Asian country in the 1960s and visited a work site where a new canal was being built. He was shocked to see that, instead of modern tractors and earth movers, the workers had shovels. He asked why there were so few machines. The government bureaucrat explained: "You don't understand. This is a jobs program." To which Milton replied: "Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it's jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels."

Jeff said...

The cause of the water problem in California is that the available water is not allocated by a market. This is one of those things that has been studied to death, repeatedly, by many different economists, for decades. And no one ever does anything to fix it.

buwaya said...

Big Mike,

" the "Coast Starlight" already uses them. "

The Coast Starlight runs along the coast, rough terrain and it has plenty of hairpin turns. And its SLOW. It would be an even more crazy/expensive job building a straight high speed route down the coast.

I do recommend taking the Coast Starlight, its there because this is the "scenic route" indeed, but it takes over 8 hours under ideal conditions, but often 10-12 hours.

PackerBronco said...

They have to build it to find out who will ride it.

Comanche Voter said...

The people of California actually voted to build this thing way back in the way back. The backers and a lot of Sacramento morons presented the voters with a bunch of promises and projections. Wouldn't cost that much and would be wonderful.

If a private corporation had presented that sort of "prospectus" to investors, even Obama's green project loving minions would have put every doggone person in the corporation in jail for fraud. But then progressives routinely commit fraud on voters and are never punished for it. After all they had the best of intentins.

Joe said...

In terms of locales, who is really pushing the train? I believe it to be those San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. But why? Perhaps because those three counties are so damn expensive and this is the best way to get the lower classes into them to keep the places running.

It is no irony that they are extremely blue counties, are at the heart of the "Yes California" movement. Los Angeles is probably more hated by outsiders (and insiders--I'm here on a contract job and loathe it) but people don't trust the bay area either.

tim in vermont said...

I rode the high speed train between two of the largest cities in the world, London and Paris, and had a whole car to myself.

Barry Dauphin said...

By the time it's built, there will be self-flying Uber cars.

Wilbur said...

Any thread with an Alvis (Buck) Owens shout-out and a smatter of Johnny Russell lyrics is OK with Wilbur. And a great Stones song "Girl With Far-Away Eyes".

richard mcenroe said...

the one estimate I read before fleeing the state said 13 riders/month.

SukieTawdry said...

Jerry Brown says his hi-speed train will serve as a prototype for transportation between major cities all across the country. Train travel. A prototype. In 2029. I think Jerry always wanted a train set for Christmas when he was a kid and never got one. I blame Pat Brown. Or Santa.

Bay Area Guy said...

As a teenager, and into my 20s, I probably drove back and forth from SF to LA 50 or so times. I almost always took the 5 through the Valley, not the 101 on the Coast.

I'm sorry, but I just can't jibe with the San Jose - Bakersfield express. Why would anyone go to Bakersfield? Nice folks, probably voted for Trump, but other than a few Basque restaurants, and the Buck Owens Crystal Palace, I just don't see the point!

Hmm. Now, I just got a hankerin' to visit the Buck Owens Crystal Palace. Maybe, I'll stop there on my next trip to LA. A bit of a trek though.

SukieTawdry said...

Central Valley - dry fields lying fallow and choked with weeds.
Lots of ripped-up almond orchards (you see these around Oakdale, etc.).


Tell it to the delta smelt (which, I understand, is headed for extinction anyhow). California is one of the biggest nut producers in the world (yeah, I know everyone knows that, but I'm referring here to kind of nuts you eat). Nuts are irrigation-intensive. We're also a major producer of rice which, of course, is grown in paddies. To me, they've always seemed a strange choice of crops for a state that's mostly desert.

Michael K said...

I will drive from Tucson to Phoenix to work a couple days a week. It's 105 miles and takes about an hour and a half.

I now commute to El Segundo from OC, about 50 miles and it takes me an hour and a half on a good day. Getting home takes usually 2 hours and on Friday, 3. Gas in Arizona is $1 /gallon cheaper and the speed limit is 75. I will commute twice as far in the same time and for half as much in gas.

Los Angeles doesn't work anymore.

Michael K said...

"We're also a major producer of rice which, of course, is grown in paddies. To me, they've always seemed a strange choice of crops for a state that's mostly desert."

I wonder about the rice, too, but it is mostly grown around Sacramento which gets more rain.

The area around Bakersfield used to be all in cotton but now I see the Arizona region near Tucson is all cotton.

Michael said...

Michael K

Take the scenic route via Catalina & Oracle Junction up 79. Lonesome road. I worked with the crazy Bass brother years ago who had that Biosphere deal up north of Tucson. Beautiful piece of land then with Mt. Lemon and the Catalinas. Down valley view ruined now by retirement crap that was built on a scraped flat desert.

wouldn't mind living there.

Dan Hossley said...

have you been to Bakersfield? I suspect zero traffic from San Jose to Bakersfield, but Bakersfield to San Jose, put on another train.

Karen said...

The planes from San Jose airport make the trip to LA in just over an hour. There are 10 flights a day, and even those flights are not full. So just who, exactly, wants to go to LA so badly that they will spend almost 3 hours a day getting there on a high speed train? And how will they do security? It's way easier to derail a high speed train than it is to create problems for an airplane.

cassandra lite said...

Having spent the majority of my life in two of the three major metropolitan areas of California, I can predict with absolute certainty that no one who travels between L.A. and the Bay Area will ride the train.

Bumsurf said...

I'm taking the rocket. When Jerry Brown launches his satellites I'm going to stowaway and bail out over SJC.

Lem said...

To lay rail in tremor county seems tremendously short sided.

Michael K said...

"Take the scenic route via Catalina & Oracle Junction up 79. Lonesome road."

Our new house is in the foothills, just as Oro Valley begins. Where Ina Road turns to become Skyline. Pretty area.

I may drive up to the Biosphere once we are settled. Lots of fun places to visit.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

buwaya,

I took the Coast Starlight from Salem to Emeryville twice. After the first time, I swore I'd never do it again, but I did.

The first time we were stalled at Klamath Falls for four hours. The second time, I'd dropped my bag off in the morning of the trip back. Our train back was an hour-plus late. I asked whether my bag was on the train, and was assured that it would be. It wasn't. So I called the station (actual station numbers are extraordinarily hard to get at, btw), and asked the station chief whether she couldn't just send it back on the next Coast Starlight. She said that, no, I had to be physically present. She could hand it off to a friend or to FedEx, but couldn't put it on the train. Apparently giving it to an anonymous stranger was A-OK, so long as Amtrak wasn't implicated.

So I stewed overnight about this, and then called back to see at least if the bag was still there. Long pause, and then: "Your bag will be on tonight's Coast Starlight." And it was.

Thank you again, anonymous stranger, but this time I am really not riding Amtrak again.

Rhythm and Balls said...

"Do we really know how many people are going to want to shuttle between San Jose and Bakersfield in 2025."

No! There is no way that we can ever know anything, say the conservatives. All knowledge is an illusion!

Except for budgets. Financial figures are always 100% accurate.

Behold the Republican hatred of knowledge!

Rhythm and Balls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

Mike K,

Other than this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCxFL5od9D0

Did anything else ever happen there?

Rhythm and Balls said...

The glorious agricultural part of the state is dying and the lefties in coastal enclaves think food comes from Whole Foods.

And the right-wing nutjobs think water comes from water generators.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

"No one who regularly commutes by a mass transit system - NOT ONE - thinks that air travel will replace regional/local trains."

Maybe not now. But, if they are one of the very few who end up w/ a lot of dough, they'll learn that air is the only way to go. The only thing that is truly great about big dough is having a jet.

Meade said...

Travel by commuter rail and Amtrak is 7 times as deadly as travel by plane.

Meade said...

Of all the modes of transportation, U.S. commercial plane is by far the safest.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

BTW, is this the thread where we complain that our official DJT x-mass MAGA hat ornament is too small to fit our Hillary For Prison bobble head?

Technically the hat stays on her head, but it needed to be about 19% larger to really nestle around her noggin.

Lyin'PB_Ombudsman said...

Also, I had that hat sent to a house were a staff member had to sign for it, and the box clearly said that it was from the DJT campaign.

Sheesh. I didn't vote for the guy (or her), I don't need want folks thinking that I'm a DJT prick, when I'm not. I just think it's funny.

Anywho, the bobble and hat are safely out of eyeshot now.

Harold said...

In the U.S. freight runs on rail. And has priority over passenger trains. While I love passenger trains as a concept, they're outdated. The only place long distance passenger rail could really be profitable is the BOSWASH corridor. Where it already exits.

If you're looking at ground level transportation for more then one person travelling together in the U.S., automobile almost always makes the most sense. AMTRAK gets about 71 passenger MPG with current ride rates. Averaged over 42 MPG from NY to CO in my Prius at higher speeds then AMTRAK. With 3 people. 126 passenger MPG. Much more efficient. Plus I could stop when and where I wanted to eat. And take side trips. And get directly from my staring point to my destination. Win-win all around for POV.

Business travel, one person, the economics change. Travelling from NYC to DC you can work on the train. Can't work in your POV. City center to city center, where you'll spend forever in traffic while trying to find a place to park- or get to the station and take a cab. Or subway.

If we want ground level passenger transportation, we shouldn't be looking at rail. Rail is really ground level and requires all new right of ways for new routes. Though discounted by planners, we should be looking at monorail. Start at Newark airport, suspend it above I-95 and take it down to BWI. IT can fit right over existing right of way for most of the trip. You'd need a few new bridges, which could also add additional needed or just extra traffic lanes. High speed, no freight trains to take priority, and safe. And, depending on track design, all weather. I'm partial to the SAFEGE system for all weather use, though the inverted T or ALWEG system are probably inherently faster. MAGLEV is probably going to end up too expensive to actually build for a long distance system.

Sam's Hideout said...

Big Mike:

One problem: Amtrak doesn't own those rails. Amtrak owns most of the Northeast Corridor, but that's just about all the rail it owns (it has a few more pieces totaling perhaps 150 miles). Amtrak has the right to use freight company rails which is what it uses just about everywhere else.

Harold said...

And the right-wing nutjobs think water comes from water generators.

Seeing how on ships and subs we made all our potable water, why, yes, water does come from generators, though we called them evaporators. It's also a byproduct of normal combustion of most fuels, so diesel or gas generators do produce water in their exhaust. Along with other combustion byproducts.

But mostly the sun produces fresh water for us. From mostly seawater. Heats the water up, some of it evaporates off the surface, travels inland, and drops as rain or snow, hopefully when and where it's needed, though we have no control over it. Hence flooding and droughts. Which is also why CA has had plans in place for years to build new reservoirs. But hasn't, because liberals.

SukieTawdry said...

And the right-wing nutjobs think water comes from water generators.

We know where water comes from. We also know how badly this resource is managed, especially in California. We're already dumping water out here as a flood prevention measure in anticipation of a big storm. Reservoirs in the north are at 60% capacity, the south is dry as a bone and we're dumping water. There really is no excuse for this. We also have 840 miles of Pacific coastline. Didn't I hear somewhere that there's a process for desalinating sea water?

California's big, fertile valleys and its arable coastal areas could feed the world. All it needs is a properly managed water supply. But no, instead we're going to have high speed rail brought to us by progressives that will cost billions of dollars to build, maintain and subsidize and that no one will ride. And you call us nutjobs.



Rhythm and Balls said...

Of all the modes of transportation, U.S. commercial plane is by far the safest.

And thanks to the terrorism that gives you a sense of purpose, and all its attendant security, the most unnecessarily longest. None else require 2 - 3 hours pre-board check-in. Some commuters have lives, Larry. Time is money. 2 - 3 hours adds up over time and many travels.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I realize there are very sheltered people out there who feel that 2 - 3 hours stuck in an airplane terminal for every trip they have to make is the most wonderful and delightful experience available. But not everyone is stuck in the kid-in-a-candy-store phase when it comes to air travel.

ddh said...

"Do we really know how many people are going to want to shuttle between San Jose and Bakersfield in 2025[?]"

Surely there will be dozens.

Big Mike said...

@Sukie, I think that you make an excellent case for the federal government taking over management of the great Central Valley since California lacks the capability to do so itself. Not that the federal government is all that competent, however the government of the State of California is demonstrably worse.

Really, the Democrats of California must be really sick to force some of the best farmland in the world lie fallow while there are starving children in the world.

Big Mike said...

@R&B, I hate going through airport lines as much as anyone but I can't bring myself to ask every man woman and child living in the United States to cough up something north of $200 ($64B divided by 300M) for an hour or two of my convenience. I'm just not that important.

And don't forget -- building high speed rail is the easy part. Maintenance is also costly. The Japanese, French, and German governments have the discipline to commit to the necessary maintenance. Serious and fatal accidents on the DC metro system show that the US doesn't. To see what happens when maintenance is skimped just go to YouTube and search on "Eschede."

coupe said...

High speed rail died on 9/11. Can you imagine the magnet those would provide for car bombs and RPG launchers. It's insane.

Cars and trucks - we can sustain 40,000 deaths a year, and it never is national news.

coupe said...

Meade said...Of all the modes of transportation, U.S. commercial plane is by far the safest.

It is subsidized though. By a Navy and Army deployed all over the world. The planes fly from bunkers to bunkers of humans and police to surround them.

We say the ticket cost $100, but in truth, the real cost is born every April 15th.

If every American were to be given an armed escort, walking through the park would be safe. As it is, we trust that the muggers and rapists are busy elsewhere.

Bad Lieutenant said...

R&B, you're looking at this the wrong way. For 64 billion dollars we could deport or execute all Muslims in the United States, and then there will be no more terrorism. Or for 64 billion dollars we could hire enough Israelis to find the bombers before they get on the planes.

Meanwhile, you appear to be emotionally invested in High-Speed Rail. What would convince you that it was not viable in the suggested application? Physics doesn't seem to be doing it. Even assuming the can opener, assuming that it got done completely or to a useful extent and did not entirely destroy the economy of the state, somebody would just come along and bomb that, and then you would add those 2-3 hour lines and then where are you?

Gahrie said...

And the right-wing nutjobs think water comes from water generators.

It's the leftwing, not the Rightwing, that is tearing down dams and refusing to build reservoirs.

Jon Ericson said...

No cafè so,

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/3-year-old-cancer-survivor-becomes-honorary-cpd-officer/

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon Ericson said...

More fake news.

https://youtu.be/81RIXQ2QgPk

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laslo Spatula said...

First comes the shuttle.

Then the shuttle whores and crackheads.

Whores and crackheads, paid to leave the Bay Area and go to Bakersfield.

Bakersfield becomes the whores and crackheads Capital of the West Coast.

They need an Indian Casino.

I am Laslo.




Jon Ericson said...

college humor

https://youtu.be/-lt8lzLhVJo

Rusty said...

Here is one test as to whether this project is a good idea or just more crony capitalism.
Where is it starting from and where is it ending? If they aren't principal cities there is no reason for it other than politics. Nobody leaves San Jose to get to Bakersfield. There is no there, there.
Another test is that if it is a good idea railroads would be falling all over themselves to build it. On their own.
It's a stupid idea.
Meanwhile politically connected cronies are getting paid for "feasibility studies".

Todd said...

Jeff said...
The cause of the water problem in California is that the available water is not allocated by a market. This is one of those things that has been studied to death, repeatedly, by many different economists, for decades. And no one ever does anything to fix it.
12/15/16, 4:53 PM


Who is this "no one" you speak of? Why it is the politicians that are not willing to fix it due to either stupidity or cowardice. Although ultimate blame must fall to the citizens as they are the ones that keep electing these "do nothing" politicians.

Generally a "people" deserve the government they elect, good and hard.

mockturtle said...

Laslo suggests: They need an Indian Casino.

These places must be amazingly profitable. Every time I drive past one, no matter the time of day, the parking lot is full. While I fail to see the attraction [I've never been in one], a hell of a lot of people apparently do

Just_Mike_S said...

You can drive it in 6 hours and there are only about eleventy thousand daily flights between the half dozen LA airports and the three BA airports at something like 15 minute intervals.
The (already understated according to some audits) $64 BN price will almost surely triple and then will need to be subsidized for eternity. So there's that.

BJM said...

@Sukie We're also a major producer of rice which, of course, is grown in paddies. To me, they've always seemed a strange choice of crops for a state that's mostly desert.

Rice is grown in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. A fresh water marsh system, the Suisun, comprising of thousands of acres that replenishes the SF Bay. Historically, before the northern rivers were dammed for flood control, silt build up created large islands with rich fertile soil, known as tracts, they are used to grow rice, asparagus and the sweetest corn (aka Delta Queen). Fishing and house boating are yuge family attractions with miles of bayous and sloughs to explore. The Delta is also a main stopover in the Pacific Flyway and gleaning the spent rice fields have become an important food source for migrating waterfowl.

The Central Valley had a surfeit of water until the Delta-Mendota and California canals were built and the trade-offs began between SoCal's mushrooming population and the Valley farmers/growers. We know who won; Mexico's Agri-business.

BJM said...

Jeff said...
The cause of the water problem in California is that the available water is not allocated by a market. T


Welp...it isn't quite as simple as that. Tens of thousands of individuals hold irrevocable water rights. Thus far the state has sued and failed to break Riparian water rights.

That's why the original water and power companies were county co-ops or munis, some still are, such as San Francisco (Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite Valley). Many county irrigation districts hold, um, water-tight, water delivery contracts from their own surface storage facilities. My county has financed and built four dams with power generation and water storage reservoirs since the 1920's. The EPA requires water releases during spawning season to keep the coastal Salmon fishery viable, but we designate usage.

Properties in Ag2 zone have county water rights as part & parcel of the property deed at an annual fixed price per acre ft. for delivered irrigation water and Riparian rights to use water from streams/rivers/lakes if your property boundaries abut to the source.

Try to "market" that.

However, that's a drop in the bucket (sorry), compared to the Machiavellian SoCal water wars that have roiled state and local politics for a century (It's Chinatown, Jake).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Water_Wars

Add in Federal, State and City water projects controlled by Sacramento and governed by EPA regs and you have a Gordian knot of epic proportions.