February 12, 2019

"Let's be real. The current project, as planned, would cost too much and, respectfully, take too long. There's been too little oversight and not enough transparency."

Said California Gov. Gavin Newsom, quoted in the Sacramento Bee.
[He's] abandoning a $77 billion plan to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco and will focus instead on completing a 119-mile (190-kilometer) segment in the state's agricultural heartland. Voters approved a ballot measure in 2008 calling for the linking of Northern and Southern California, a rail project initially estimated to cost $33 billion and be completed in 2020. Subsequent estimates more than doubled the cost and pushed the timeline to 2033. Newsom pledged to finish the segment already under construction through California's Central Valley. He rejected the idea critics have raised that it will be a "train to nowhere" and said it can help revitalize the economically depressed region.
Sad and predictable. Awful dissonance with his party's "Green New Deal."

So glad we avoided getting caught up in train-mania here in Wisconsin.

107 comments:

YoungHegelian said...

I'm so old I can remember when California was the state that could get things done.

rhhardin said...

Light rail is good for youtube trolley crash movies. Russia seems to have the edge.

walter said...

Some folks' gravy trains just got derailed.

Rob said...

So now the plan be to connect Merced and Bakersfield, though if funding runs out they may have to settle for the heavily-traveled Fresno to Visalia route.

traditionalguy said...

Steam is the Green future. The enviros think steam is clean since water, H20, is not mistakenly labeled Hydrogen like CO2 is mistakenly labeled Carbon. Don't anyone tell them, but H2O is the massive greenhouse gas that is warming the planet while CO2 is a trace gas the has zero effect on warming anything.

Now the California Dems just need to invent The bullett Train using a steam engine. All will be solved.

TANSTAAFL said...

And like that Keyser Söze is gone.

Oh, did I say Keyser Söze?

I meant the New Green Deal.

bagoh20 said...

Wisconsin doesn't have enough rich liberals to do that kind of stupid. Too many cheeseheads earn their living honestly. It takes a life of easy money based on connections and sex appeal to be that careless with billions, and then never take responsibility. It's the cheese that makes you strong.

Big Mike said...

So glad we avoided getting caught up in train-mania here in Wisconsin.

There never was a chance it could get done, not the way they went at it. You don't survey the right of way and buy up land out in the boondocks where land is plentiful and relatively flat, back in the 19th century when they set about to build the Transcontinental Railroad, the surveyors for the Central Pacific started at the difficult parts -- the mountain passes -- and surveyed their way down to the cities. In the relatively flat parts between the choke points they had all sorts of degrees of freedom to lay the track.

If they had been serious about a high speed rail connection between LA and San Francisco they would have started somewhere close to San Jose and Silicon Valley in the north, and then with the climb out from LA to the south, and gotten those two pieces worked out. In between those two segments they had lots of degrees of freedom to design the connection. As a bonus, if the money ever ran short they would still have lines into those two cities that they could turn into commuter rail.

bagoh20 said...

The cheese AND the dutch ovens, of course.

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

I like the Viet Nam railroad system, where people are combined with trains in an old-timey way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vT-YG0eytI8

Leaving Hanoi down narrow city alleys (watch 3 minutes)

chuck said...

Choo-choo go bye-bye.

FIDO said...

It is rumored to be a rebuke to AOC from Pelosi. The 'Moderates' (I threw up in my mouth a little typing that) are fighting back against the Socialists.

Too bad they both can't lose. OH! They CAN! Trump!

Gahrie said...

Sad and predictable

Actually sad and predicted. By many of us here in California. Loudly. Repeatedly. Uselessly.

FullMoon said...

Nah, that would be too good to be be true:

"But, he reiterated, that does not mean it is time to end it. To those critics who say California should stop building it, he said, “Abandoning high-speed rail entirely means we will have wasted billions of dollars with nothing but broken promises and lawsuits to show for it.”

“And by the way,” he added, “I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding back to Donald Trump. Because that’s what it would take.”

Even though there is currently no clear path for high-speed rail to connect Sacramento and San Diego, “let alone from San Francisco to L.A.,” he said. “We do have the capacity to complete a high-speed rail link between Merced and Bakersfield.”

Several news outlets have already interpreted his remarks to mean he wants to scale the project back to just the Central Valley, where construction has already begun and there are clear plans to complete the first segment. But that’s not what he said. He pledged to finish the environmental work on Phase 1 of the program–which would connect San Francisco to Anaheim–and continue to pursue federal funding to complete the entire project.

Newsom clapped back at critics who call a Central Valley project a “train to nowhere.” “I think that’s wrong, and I think that’s offensive,” he said. “The people of the Central Valley endure the worst air pollution in America, as well as some of the longest commutes. And they have suffered too many years of neglect from policymakers here in Sacramento. They deserve better.”

The cities of the Central Valley are, he said “more dynamic than many realize.” The region is renowned for agriculture, but is also “hungry for investment, a workforce eager for more training and good jobs…. who deserve a fair share of our state’s prosperity.”

“High-speed rail is more than a train project,” he said. As a tool for economic transformation, it could help “unlock the economic potential” and create the “backbone of a reinvigorated Central Valley.”

Meanwhile, he plans to make immediate governance changes. “We’re going to hold contractors and consultants accountable to explain how taxpayer dollars are spent – including change orders, cost overruns, even travel expenses. It’s going online, for everybody to see,” he said, calling it a “new day” for the program.


https://cal.streetsblog.org/2019/02/12/newsom-says-high-speed-rail-serving-the-central-valley-is-not-a-train-to-nowhere/

bagoh20 said...

It was stupid from every angle, and plenty of people with lots of data showed it be so year after year. This is what's so scary about the Left. Even impending disaster doesn't slow them down, unless they just run out of money, bullets, or gulag.

19th century technology requiring the most expensive infrastructure that can never be redirected, and that cost more, goes slower, and provides far less choices and service than what we already have - air travel.

It was expected to only average 55 mph. That's just retarded. Look it up. It means slow.

If if it did go fast, I'd find it extremely dangerous to be going hundreds of miles an hour so close to solid rock, trees, large game, livestock and crazy fuckers with trucks, logs, rifles, and explosives. The thing about air travel is it's most dangerous only when you are close to the ground, and that's when you are going the slowest. Bullet trains are never in an environment free of fatal obsacles.

Original Mike said...

"Sad and predictable."

I consider it unconscionable. Everybody knew it was money down a rat hole. But the people pushing this don't care.

Ralph L said...

If they actually did a comparison of "pollution" from air and HS rail travel, I'll bet they forgot the pollution created by construction.

Adding to Big Mike's wisdom, they could have built new airports on the rail line out of the urban areas. Wiki says they still haven't finished the Metro to Dulles Airport, over 40 years after the Metro opened in DC.

Russia seems to have a lot of dash cams. Must be because of all the drunk drivers.

Ryan said...

High speed train to Merced. Great idea!!

Churchy LaFemme: said...

My question is: Can he do this?

I always thought CA ballot propositions became part of the state constitution, and could only, like the marriage thing, be overturned by a Federal court.

Ken B said...

Like original Mike I think sad is the wrong word. Unless it’s an echo of Trump's “Sad”, but I don’t think it is (That must come at the end.) It's always been corrupt and destructive. Sad is the death of the family farm, the local paper. Sad is not a giant boondoggle.

ManleyPointer said...

“I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding back to Donald Trump. Because that’s what it would take.”

Newsom to America: drop dead.

mockturtle said...

I remember when you posted about this issue, asking who would take a train to Bakersfield. Many of us answered, "No one".

Michael The Magnificent said...

California Democrats insisted on this boondoggle. Too bad they can't be forced to complete it. Will anyone learn a damned thing from this? I guarantee that no, they won't.

Idiots never learn. It's what makes them idiots. Hell, we have idiots pushing socialism in spite of history.

walter said...

Meanwhile:

A state lawmaker from the Silicon Valley has reintroduced a constitutional amendment that would lower the California voting age to 17, betting that a larger Democratic majority in the Legislature this year will help his proposal reach the ballot.

An amendment requires the approval of two-thirds of the state Assembly and Senate, and the approval of voters. Last year, a similar proposal from Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low of Campbell failed to reach the necessary margin of 46-24.

This time around, there are more Democrats in the Assembly, Low spokeswoman Maya Polon said, adding that the legislation enjoys bipartisan support.

Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article226099350.html#storylink=cpy

Tank said...

Should have used the money to build some reservoirs.

Henry said...

So now the plan be to connect Merced and Bakersfield, though if funding runs out they may have to settle for the heavily-traveled Fresno to Visalia route.

They can call it the Jack Kerouac express.

RK said...

Well, at least a bunch of California Democrats got rich in the meantime.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Democrats waste endless tax dollars and continue to get elected.

Definition of insanity.

Lucien said...

Like the way Newsom goes for the sunk cost fallacy.

Original Mike said...

"We do have the capacity to complete a high-speed rail link between Merced and Bakersfield.”

This is The Onion, right?

MayBee said...

I canNOT believe Brown kept this going as long as he did. Good for Gavin Newsome.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

In Colorado - the politicians have spent millions upon millions and wasted years and years on highway studies. They don't fix anything -they just spend our money on so called "experts" studying the problem.
ooops - it's not feasible, expanding the nightmare that is I-70 from the city to Summit county. Weekends of pure gridlock. but thanks for letting us know after a decades and many millions or billions wasted.

When Bill Owens(R) was our governor, he didn't mess around. He completed a major highway expansion thru Denver's southern corridor that included new overpass bridges and additional lanes. It was called T-Rex and it is a thing of beauty. On time and under budget. Needed and accomplished. The norther I-25 corridor under Hickenlooper is still dilapidated. Good going, dude.

But we don't elect R's anymore. We prefer lots of wasted money on government whores. and pot. and rich Polis pay-backs in the medical industry.

Original Mike said...

We are thinking about this all wrong. AOC teaches that money isn't real, so what does it matter?

MayBee said...

San Francisco and LA already have a low cost high speed rail, and it's called Southwest Airlines.

Francisco D said...

I wonder why leftist totalitarians love trains.

It must have something to do with having more control over people. That is mostly what drives them.

I cannot get over the image of a uniformed officer going through the aisles and asking for their papers.

Some of the commenters would love that job.

Maillard Reactionary said...

“I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding back to Donald Trump."

Donald Trump funded this? He must be wealthier than I thought. Stupider, too.

On the other hand, I guess he just dodged being connected with another bankruptcy. (Phew! Close call there.)

Regarding Newsom's announcement, according to my wife, no mention of this at all was made on the ABC World News Tonight. The spinmeisters will be up late figuring out how to "position" it, one suspects.

The time pressure must be brutal for them. So many phone calls to make!

Bay Area Guy said...

No need to worry - Pretty Boy Gavin is keeping the Merced to Bakersfield line. Yeehaw!

Jay Vogt said...

I think California issued about $1.2B in related bonds about a year ago. I couldn't believe it. I wonder who bought them. And if it was "sad and predictable", I suppose there's a securities fraud case to be made. I'd sure think so. If you can get Skadden Arps going on this thing, everybody can still make some more money.

Although it was smart of Gov. Newsom to cut this carcass loose as quickly as he did, there's still some gristle to pick off the bones.

narciso said...

It was in one of the stupid continuing resolutions

Bay Area Guy said...

Also, if u can believe it, Yes, Gavin Newsom like Kamala Harris, is also a protege of Downtown Willie Brown.

Churchy LaFemme: said...

Way out in the west, in the town of Merced,
The Hinkle Horn honking club just went to bed.
Every horn has been quietly hung on a hook,
for the night, in its own private Hinkle-Horn Nook.
All this long, happy day, they've been honking about,
and the Hinkle-Horn Honkers have honked themselves out.
But they'll wake up quite fresh in the morning. and then...
They'll start right in Hinkle-Horn honking again.

Jay Vogt said...

Bay Area Guy said...Also, if u can believe it, Yes, Gavin Newsom like Kamala Harris, is also a protege of Downtown Willie Brown.

It must be like that movie with Michael Keaton where each successive copy is slightly less "crisp" than the preceding one.

RK said...

I just didn't know trains were so complicated.

Jay Vogt said...

RK said...I just didn't know trains were so complicated.

They're not. Why do you think they're killing it? There's nowhere to hide.

Bay Area Guy said...

There's only 2 things in Bakersfield, CA: (1) oil derricks and (2) Buck Owens.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Garner sucks but grift is awesome.

D. said...

If Newsom was smart he'd turn on the water to the central valley and sell the ROW to Union Pacific.

Charlie Currie said...

Blogger Francisco D said...
"I wonder why leftist totalitarians love trains"

They have an enduring fascination with Dr Zhivago.

Jay Vogt said...

Bay Area Guy said...There's only 2 things in Bakersfield, CA: (1) oil derricks and (2) Buck Owens.

You actually make is sound kinda cool

Maillard Reactionary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rightguy said...

Think about this railroad boondoggle of epic proportions. Think of San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Baltimore, DC, and the entire state of California... Think of anyplace that the democrats have a permanent electoral majority and have governed continuously for way too long.

Democrats simply cannot govern effectively. Or won't.

Jim said...

In Hawaii, Honolulu is building a rail project. In 2012, construction for the elevated rail was estimated to cost $5.26 billion by 2020, compared to an estimated $9 billion today.

HART now expects the project to be completed by late 2025 or early 2026.
The project is being investigated by the feds for the cost over runs. Another corrupt Democrat state, fucks up another project. At least Tammany hall provided some services etc. Now, the Dems don't even try, they just keep taking money.

Danno said...

Everyone has known since the vote in 2008, if not before, that this project was a clusterfuck of massive proportion.

This shows how the majority of CA voters and their politicians are fucking retarded.

Temujin said...

Anything government does ends up costing 3X projected total within 1-2 years, and more than that as the program/entitlement grows. As an example, it was projected that in Medicare's first year- 1966- it would cost $238 million. It ended up costing $1 billion just in that first year. Today? It's around $705 Billion.

The high-speed rail in California was simply a redistribution effort, taking money from the pockets of the state citizens and inbound business and tourist travelers (by way of taxes) and transferring it to Jerry Brown and close friends. It would never have been completed, but somehow the costs would just keep going up.

Anyone up for the Green New Deal?

iowan2 said...

The States are considered the laboratories of Democracy. Try things out in the states to se if the work and what unintended consequences lurk in the legislation.

It looks like California is the lab that disproves, AGAIN, that cold fusion (highspeed rail) is nothing but a scam.

Michael The Magnificent said...

San Francisco and LA already have a low cost high speed rail, and it's called Southwest Airlines.

Milwaukee and Madison already have a low cost high speed rail, and it's called Badger Bus. It's just as fast as the proposed rail project was, gets you from city center to city center, doesn't require any additional land through eminent domain, is cheap, efficient, and doesn't cost the taxpayers a dime - only riders pay. But it also doesn't provide any opportunity for graft or campaign donations to corrupt politicians, like a rail system would.

PackerBronco said...

I'm glad that they cut the program. Now they'll have more money available for San Francisco to Honolulu express train.

Michael The Magnificent said...

I'm glad that they cut the program. Now they'll have more money available for San Francisco to Honolulu express train.

Thread winner!

Bay Area Guy said...

The quickest route from SF to LA is Highway 5 - through the Valley. A hot 5-hour drive. Listening to Buck Owens, doo doo doo, lookin' out my back door.

Well, maybe Southwest Airlines Oak to Burbank.

Titus said...

Trains and subways are a way of life in the congested east coast which is fab. The rest of the country prabably not. I love the t. Lots of sex happens on the t. FYI. There are many pornhub videos of t hookups. How much porn you all watch? I prefer amateur thugs. So hot. I watch about 1 hour of porn or else my life becomes a xtube video.

RK said...

Sometimes I think the only thing Democrats are competent at is corruption.

FullMoon said...

Everyone has known since the vote in 2008, if not before, that this project was a clusterfuck of massive proportion.

This shows how the majority of CA voters and their politicians are fucking retarded.


The only sane Californians comment here. All six of us. Usta be seven but one moved to Tucson.

Original Mike said...

Californians voted for this, didn't they? Can't someone sue Newsome and force him to build it?

DeepRunner said...

Train-mania. Somewhere, when it comes to the the SF-to-LA groove line, Phil Hartman is singing "Monorail," from The Simpsons.

BTW, this is the sound of my shock that a project in Blue-State California would have poor initial cost assessments and huge underestimates for project completion.

Bay Area Guy said...

As a mere tot in 1970, I moved from cold, blustery Michigan to sunny California. Ronald Reagan was Governor, Richard Nixon was president and my folks bought a fairly spacious house in a nice neighborhood for $32K. Tuition at UC Berkeley was free, except for a $150/year "educational" fee. You could rent a cheap room for $75/month.

That house is now worth north of $2 Mill. And Reagan and Nixon have been replaced by Newsom & Harris.

Times change, I reckon.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I thought Modern Monorail Theory was supposed to pay for everything.

Sebastian said...

"Sad and predictable."

Why sad?

Who predicted that Newsom, of all people, would cancel the boondoggle?

effinayright said...

Charlie Currie said...
Blogger Francisco D said...
"I wonder why leftist totalitarians love trains"

They have an enduring fascination with Dr Zhivago.
**********
Yes! Who can forget Strelnikov, eyes agleam with messianic fantasies, hurtling across steppe and taiga to smite his enemies, "hip and thigh" as the Bible would have put it.

For SJW he's a perfect role model.

readering said...

This train project really upset me. When candidate Newsome wouldn't question it I voted Republican for governor (a nobody whose name I can't remember 3 months later). Newsome was smart and courageous for reversing himself and pulling the plug so soon into his term. As it is, Merced remains a stupid place to build a high speed line to. (Fresno and Bakersfield are actually decent sized cities).

Lewis Wetzel said...

The reason Newsom canceled is because the choo-choo project was so badly designed and manged the Feds were going to demand billions back from from the Cali taxpayers when Cali politicians had already spent the money.
We are going through our own LRT boondoggle in Hawaii. They forecast incredible rider numbers (to reduce the projected cost per passenger) and, at the same time, designed rail stops w/o restrooms (to reduce construction and annual maintenance costs).
Strelnikov got shot. We can't even put crooked politicians in jails.

Yancey Ward said...

The entire project should be stopped immediately- there is literally no ridership for a train that goes from Merced to Bakersfield. Newsom is giving you a perfect example of sunk cost fallacy- everything spent so far is down a rat hole, and you could at least save what is going to have to be spent just to finish this segment on which no one will travel- its operation will be continuing rat hole for money.

cyrus83 said...

I for one look forward to the inevitable lawsuit from some lefty group trying to force California to complete this project.

Trains are popular with the left for a couple reasons. First, the powers that be decide where the rails go and the trains can only go along the built lines and only stop where it is decided they should stop. It is a similar story with the other forms of mass transit such as buses, subways, and light rail. Riders are stuck with the defined routes and schedules.

The second reason is that public transit options are a big ongoing source of money and jobs. Mass transit of any sort always require ongoing subsidy as the fares and revenues collected never cover the expense of operating the system, and there are lots of opportunities for graft in all the various studies, consultants, contracts, and custom bells and whistles these projects always seem to want. Transit authorities are also the perfect place to add politically appointed do-nothing jobs along with lots of government employees who actually run the system in spite of the political hacks. I once had a bus driver frankly admit their system's routes and schedules made no sense, but the director was great at getting funding and grants, and that mattered more than designing a good system.

John henry said...

Thank you tradguy for pointing out that hydrogen and h2o (water) are not the same thing.

One is in the atmosphere in trace amounts. The other h2o in massive amounts (visible clouds and invisible humidity)

Ditto carbon and co2. Except co2 is in the atmosphere in even smaller amounts. Less than 0.04%

John Henry

Daniel Jackson said...

Back in September, I took the train from San Jose to Seattle. An incredible experience (not).

I've taken trains all over the world from the slow speed, third class three tier from Madras to New Delhi and the regular bullet train from Paris to Montpellier (France). So, I've got a decent perception of how to rate train rides. The Starlight Coastal express rivals the low end of the spectrum.

The train was two hours late arriving in San Jose and five hours late to Seattle (ALWAYS buy insurance with Amtrak). In Eugene, I got out to light up with my fellow travelers and marveled at the source of the delay: a rental luxury railroad car was added to the end of the train so some guy could have a party sidelined in Seattle. The babes arrived for the party in Portland.

Of course, the fact that the rails between northern CA and WA, the roads are privately owned and passengers have to wait for slow cargo.

Train travel at any speed would be nice; but, there are some basic problems to resolve well before technology is spruced up. Right of way would be the place to start.

tim in vermont said...

The train from Boston to NYC is faster than flying, IMHO, when you take into account that you can walk to South Station, step onto the train practically off of the sidewalk, and step off the train in the center of Manhattan. No way they could build that today because getting the land is a non starter.

wendybar said...

How is putting a high speed train in not an environmental disaster if they claim putting a wall on the border is?? Wouldn't they have to use Eminent domain to lay down tracks too??

tim in vermont said...

It’s never about what they say it’s about wendybar. Scott Adams is right about that.

jimbino said...

Wisconsin would do well to simply extend the Metra line from Kenosha to Milwaukee.

PB said...

So, they admit this liberal wet-dream was unworkable, but all the others are OK?

rwnutjob said...

Light rail never pays for itself. It is a green fairy tale. They almost always turn into a thug delivery service, dumping inner city crooks into the suburbs where the money is. In Minneapolis, the 80,000 Somalis they have imported, use it to go from government housing to what is now called The Mall of Africa, very rarely paying because enforcement is spotty.
#Minnesotavice

sinz52 said...

The population of Merced is 83,000.

That's a lot of money to spend to connect a town that small.

And how many people routinely commute from Bakersfield to Merced?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Newsom thinks a train to nowhere is going to revitalize "an economically depressed area"

HEY NEWSOM!!! You know what would revitalize the area.

1. Give the water back to the agriculture industry.

2. Lower gas taxes so people can afford to fill up their tanks and drive the MANY miles in that area

3. Fix the FUCKING roads so that you don't have to dodge potholes on I-5. And the crumbling State and County roads.

4. Lower the taxes that depress the middle and lower classes. DMV Fees. Restrictions on cars that people can actually afford.

5. Loosen up the stupid "GREEN" restrictions that make it impossible to build new homes and remodel older homes. Solar panels increase the cost of a house by about $30K

6. BUILD A G DAMNED BORDER WALL and stop illegal immigration. ENFORCE THE LAWS. Living in the SJ Valley is like living in the worst crime zone in Mexico.

Stop trying to micro manage every thing we do. GTFO of our faces



Dust Bunny Queen said...

In California, with a very few exceptions, the public transportation system is terrible.

Yeah. You might be able to take a train or plane from Sacramento to Los Angeles. BUT.....once you get there, without a car, you have practically no way to get to where you want to really go.

Taxi? Uber? Forget trying to take a bus. Who wants to do that anyway. EWWWWW! Have you ever stood at a bus stop in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco? Walked through the hallways of BART and dodged the passed out druggies and pools of vomit?

You NEED a car to get around in California. So, why would you want to go to the expense of taking a train, airplane and then the hassle of renting a car? Time standing in the airport, time standing around the train, time standing around to rent the car and then reverse the process.

When you already own a car or can rent one at your starting point and return at the same place. It takes some time to drive the distance but when you get there you have all the conveniences of having your OWN vehicle.

Freedom cannot be overrated.

tim in vermont said...

"The great paradox of progressive populism is that it leads to elitism in its purist form." David Brooks.

It's not the paradox, it's the purpose, David.

Jamie said...

I'm put in mind of Steve from Singles, hawking his train-commute idea to the mayor of Seattle, along the lines of: "If we give people comfortable seats, great music, great coffee, they'll be happy to take a train to work." And the answer, from the mayor, from Steve's girlfriend, and throughout the movie, is "People love their cars" and "No train." (Of course the mayor of Seattle would be all over this idea now. And the uber-environmentalist girlfriend always would have been.)

OK, so I lived in Seattle during the Singles/Sleepless in Seattle/etc. era, when the world had discovered the city the way Billy Wilkerson discovered Lana Turner in a soda shop. I was the same age as the characters in all those silly Seattle movies were supposed to be. I listened to live grunge and drank lattes from places other than Starbucks. My house was an 1910 Craftsman that I still miss to this day, knob-and-tube wiring and all. But even then, though I admit I partook heavily of the obtuseness and narcissism of young people in Seattle, I thought Steve from Singles was incredibly obtuse and narcissistic to think that because he liked grunge and lattes, all rail commuters were going to be thrilled to be stuck on some train that sounded like Pearl Jam and smelled like coffee.

But that's today's perpetually adolescent Left for you. "I like this thing. I'm self-evidently hip/virtuous/smart. Therefore everybody should like this thing, and everybody will get behind paying for this thing. What? You don't like this thing and don't want to pay for it? What's wrong with you? You clearly aren't hip/virtuous/smart like me!"

TonyW said...

Good on him for canceling this. Good on Maryland Governor Hogan for canceling the Baltimore Red Line. Too bad Washington and Cincinnati wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on streetcars. Mayor Barry described the Washington streetcar as “ill-planned, ill-thought out, ill-engineered, ill-everything” but it got built anyway.

Jamie said...

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law, who have a toddler, live in Culver City (in LA). They are very, very "environmentally aware" and live a meticulously examined, one might say scrutinized, life. They're committed to creating the tiniest waste stream they can, don't eat beef, make all their child's food themselves from organic ingredients, support local small businesses as exclusively as they can, are urban gardeners, collect trash on the beach several times a week, and are evangelists for human population shrinkage to reduce the load on the global environment via having zero or one child. And they have THREE cars: my s-i-l's new (and non-electric/non-hybrid) Audi, my b-i-l's ancient (and therefore gas-inefficient and polluting) Subaru, and their weekender ancient (and therefore gas-inefficient and polluting) VW bus. And now they want a fourth - a big van they can convert to a tiny house in which to live #vanlife when they want to go somewhere.

The hell...?

MadisonMan said...

They don't fix anything -they just spend our money on so called "experts" studying the problem.

This is a Madison problem too. I have no doubt that the 'experts' are friends of friends -- Democrats, of course -- who are chosen to give the correct answer.

Paul said...

What they are saying is they got their graft and now they will run off with the $$... until there is a chance for more graft. Love that California.

hawkeyedjb said...

"Democrats simply cannot govern effectively. Or won't."

That depends on the definition. In the case of the train, the purpose was never to transport people, it was to spend money on favored constituencies. Lotsa people have made big money off the non-existent train, and they want it to continue. Lotsa workers are out there building the thing, and they don't care if it ever carries a passenger - in fact, it's better if it doesn't. A perpetual construction machine as it were. The big question is: how many Democratic voters has the train created?

Michael McNeil said...

H2O is the massive greenhouse gas that is warming the planet while CO2 is a trace gas the has zero effect on warming anything.

Actually, both water and carbon dioxide qualify as trace, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It's true that there's about 6 times more water (0.25%) than CO2 (0.04%) by weight, on average, in the air, but that's (water's proportion is) still only a quarter that of argon (0.93%), for instance.

There is a big, qualitative difference between the two gases, however, in practice in the context of planet Earth and its “standard” pressures and temperatures. Water in the atmosphere — as a result of H2O's physical behavior at those temperatures and pressures — cannot increase in proportion indefinitely. In many places and times, little if any more water can pile up as vapor in the air before it is forced to condense back out as clouds and (ultimately) fall as rain, which then runs away in streams and rivers to the world ocean.

CO2 doesn't and can't (anywhere except at Antarctica's coldest temperatures and/or pressures far beyond atmospheric) “condense out.” All an excess in its production (due to, e.g., modern fossil-fuel powered industry) can do is pile up in the atmosphere — until something (usually a photosynthesizing plant) pulls it back out of the air. That's why — on Earth — carbon dioxide is (overall, over the changeable pageant of geologic history) a more significant greenhouse gas than water.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

DBQ said

"Walked through the hallways of BART and dodged the passed out druggies and pools of vomit?"

Yes. I must say I like BART system. But since San Fransisco is a homeless toilet now, it is as you say. Esp after you emerge from the Bart halls.

JAORE said...

"Newsom pledged to finish the segment already under construction through California's Central Valley. He rejected the idea critics have raised that it will be a "train to nowhere" and said it can help revitalize the economically depressed region."

Translation: I have $3 billion of Federal cash and I'm not going to waste it by returning it to the treasury! There are unions and toadies to feed.

Robert Cook said...

"Freedom cannot be overrated."

There are different kinds of freedom. There's the freedom of mobility that owning (or renting) a car can give, but there's a price: the cost of ownership or rental. Living in a city with a comprehensive transit system, such as NYC, provides one with the financial freedom from having to buy and own a car, with continuing costs for fuel, maintenance, repairs and replacement every so many years. The price to using mass transit is the per-trip fare to get on the trains or buses, and the occasional inconvenience of not having access to a car.

I had a car when I lived in Florida and I enjoyed the utility of it, but I've never been a car person, never was interested in cars for their own sake, never needed a car to express my independence. Even in Florida, I didn't get a license until I was 22 and out of college. I've lived now in NYC for close to 40 years and I cherish my freedom from having to own and pay for a car.

hawkeyedjb said...

People often mistake ends and means when discussing something near and dear to their hearts, such as mass transportation in general or trains specifically. "Trains are cool" is not a good reason to build them, nor is "France and Japan have them." I've traveled on many high-speed trains in Europe and find them a wonderful mode of transport. They are good options in densely-populated areas like the Tokyo urban area. They also are good at linking dense cities like Paris and Brussels or Avignon. One great advantage is arrival in or near the center of a city - something not thought out when the LA-SF train was proposed. Paris (for example) had multiple existing train stations before the TGV system was built. There was never a realistic plan to run high-speed rail to the center of SF or LA, so the plan was to start with the easy part and hope that the Sunk Cost Fallacy would take over. It has, at least for Gov. Newsom. But that doesn't make it any more practical to actually extend the train to its originally proposed destinations. It will likely cost upwards of $200 billion to get what was originally sold to the voters. So, hopes have to be scaled back. Imagine if, at the time of the original proposal, the proposition had asked the voters to approve "$50 billion to build a train line between Merced and Bakersfield." It would have been laughed off the ballot, but now that's what the taxpayers of California are going to get. Such are the wages of deceit, coupled with financial and engineering reality.

Caligula said...

It'll cost you $29.00 to travel from Bakersfield to Merced on a Greyhound bus.

It is 163 miles, and no doubt a train would be more comfortable and somewhat faster than the bus, but at what cost?

As a thought experiment, suppose you offered the per-passenger rail subsidy to those who now take the bus, and then asked them whether they'd spend that money to upgrade to the train 9if possible) or choose to spend this money on something else ...

"The cities of the Central Valley are more dynamic than many realize.” Yeah, whatever.

PM said...

Nobody wanted to face the super-extra cost and time to tunnel that rail line through the fearsome Tehachapi Mountains into SoCal. Smart call by Gavin 'It's gonna happen whether you like it or not' Newsom.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Freedom cannot be overrated."

There are different kinds of freedom. There's the freedom of mobility that owning (or renting) a car can give, but there's a price: the cost of ownership or rental. Living in a city with a comprehensive transit system, such as NYC, provides one with the financial freedom from having to buy and own a car, with continuing costs for fuel, maintenance, repairs and replacement every so many years. The price to using mass transit is the per-trip fare to get on the trains or buses, and the occasional inconvenience of not having access to a ca

Correctly illustrating why these types of decisions: i.e. who should own a car, when you can drive, how you should drive, what type of transportation you are allowed to have etc etc etc .....should not be made in a one size fits all mindset. And definitely should not be made by people whose experiences are in NYC or other urban jungles.

Yes. Living in NYC or San Francisco, which I did for many years, you don't NEED a car to get around. I only used my car for those times I wanted to go someplace outside of the city. So. Public transportation and even walking are good options. Good for you and others.

HOWEVER, in many if not MOST places in the United States there is little to NO public transportation.

Assumptions made by people in NYC or other urban areas are not in the least valid for others. Your experiences are not those of most of the US. Or...your mileage may vary :-)

So what if there is a price for car ownership? If I am willing to pay that price in exchange for having the freedom to travel when and where I want.... then it is MY choice. Just as it is your choice to live in NYC. You couldn't PAY me enough money to live there.

Freedom of mobility is the greatest freedom that people experienced when coming from constipated Europe in the 1600's to America.

Gospace said...

Caligula said...
It'll cost you $29.00 to travel from Bakersfield to Merced on a Greyhound bus.

It is 163 miles, and no doubt a train would be more comfortable and somewhat faster than the bus, but at what cost?


At what cost to who? How many people travel from Bakersfield to Merced daily? What percent are doing it by bus?

Now here's the free market question. Could you charge $50.00 for a bus ticket from Bakersfield to Merced using a less crowded more passenger friendly bus and make money? Since no one is doing it- I'm going to guess the answer is NO!

But- it would be a lot cheaper to run a subsidized luxury bus experiment than to build a rail line, just to see if you can get people out of their cars. It's going to fail, but it would be a cheaper experiment.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It'll cost you $29.00 to travel from Bakersfield to Merced on a Greyhound bus.

It is 163 miles, and no doubt a train would be more comfortable and somewhat faster than the bus, but at what cost?


Assuming that I wanted to go from Bakersfield to Merced on a Greyhound bu,which I have no desire to do either go to Merced or ride on a Greyhound bus. (Don't get me wrong. I'm not too good to ride on a Greyhound. Done it many times in the past, when I had someone at the other end to pick me up and I didn't have a reliable car.)

163 miles / 42 mpg (which I get, or better, in my smaller car =3.8 gallons of gasoline.

3.8 gallons of gas at $3.50 = $13.30

AND I still have my own transportation when I get to Merced, where there isn't any real public transportation.

A three hour drive is nothing at all in California. Nothing.

Until they solve the public transportation thing at the destination, all these ideas are not really going to fly for the majority of the population.

Harold said...

Amtrak charges $27 one way to take a train from Merced to Bakersfield. The trip takes just over 3 hours if everything is on time. When you get to Bakersfield you will have to get from the station to your final destination. If you drive from Merced to Bakersfield it will take a bit over 2 hours traffic allowing. When you get there you find parking at or near your final destination. Highspeed rail will cut the train travel time down to at best an 1 hour 45 mins. You will still need to get from the station to your actual destination. I suspect a ticket will cost considerably more than $27.

BJM said...

Perhaps the Central Valley wouldn't be economically depressed if the Democrats hadn't turned off the water to the entire west side in an ill-advised and fruitless effort to protect the Delta smelt, a tiny fish, that were being sucked into the California Valley Project water diversion pumps.

Thousands lost their farms, hundreds of thousands of migrant Ag workers were thrown out of work as orchards and vineyards were razed. Small communities have barely hung on as it is.

Now they want more, including control over the cold pools behind the dams that the county irrigation districts, aka farmers and growers, built.

It's not about preserving the Delta water flows or fish, it's about pumping water south to LA. It's hardly a coincidence that the LA water co bought several large island tracts in the Delta.

Oh...and icing on the stupidity cake, now environmental experts aren't sure that the fish are sustainable by any means.

MB said...

"Newsom clapped back at critics"
This month is the first time I am seeing clapping mentioned as an aggressive, hostile gesture. It used to be a sign of respect and admiration. This month, however, I have seen it at least twice mentioned as a hostile gesture.
Probably this ties into the new ideal of victimhood. Left-wing people are fragile, delicate flowers who get easily startled by loud noises and sudden movements, sort of like forest deer.
So clapping is a micro-aggression now.

Gahrie said...

A three hour drive is nothing at all in California. Nothing.

I know people that do that as their daily commute.

Robert Cook said...

"...in many if not MOST places in the United States there is little to NO public transportation.

"So what if there is a price for car ownership? If I am willing to pay that price in exchange for having the freedom to travel when and where I want.... then it is MY choice.


You contradict yourself: I agree that most places in America lack good public transit and residents must have motor vehicles to effectively function: to shop, to get ti work, etc. Citizens without access to public transit must buy automobiles; it is not a price they are necessarily "willing" to pay, it is not really their "choice," but is a financial burden they are forced to assume. Without a motor vehicle, they are effectively stranded. For many Americans, the cost of buying and maintaining a motor vehicle can be a strain on their finances. Money they spend on having a car might be better spent on other household necessities. (I saw this up front and personal with people in my life when I lived in Florida.)

Real freedom is possible only where one actually has viable alternative choices: to buy a car or use public transit (or to walk or bicycle, in areas where these are viable alternatives). Many New Yorkers do have cars, though they live in a city with excellent public transit. They are the ones who have true freedom. Of course, freedom ain't free.

Gospace said...

Robert Cook said...
"...in many if not MOST places in the United States there is little to NO public transportation.

"So what if there is a price for car ownership? If I am willing to pay that price in exchange for having the freedom to travel when and where I want.... then it is MY choice.

You contradict yourself: I agree that most places in America lack good public transit and residents must have motor vehicles to effectively function: to shop, to get ti work, etc


I'm going to have to say, well, actually, no. We have a lot of citizens in my rural town with no public transport who don't own cars who shop, go to work, go to school etc. Their transport leaves solid exhaust on the roads, but the Amish seem to get along fine without IC engines.

But I don't want an Amish lifestyle. I had a friend who lived in Chicago who didn't own a car. He figured the cost, and for him, renting a vehicle when he wanted to make a trip was the best cost option. Meant his trips were planned, not spontaneous, but that was his choice, not someone else's choice for him.

The American passion for home ownership is one reason we commute a lot. When I purchased this house, it was 9 miles from my job. That job went away, and I now commute 36 miles one way. I don't feel like upending my life and moving just to shorten my commute. And I'm not going to find an equivalent house on 8.5 acres within 9 miles of my current job for anything less than 6 times what I could sell my house for. Location, location, location.....