Price tag rises again on California high-speed rail
the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) recently published the draft business plan 2022 for the California high-speed rail project. The draft business plan adds another $5 billion to the already delayed and increasingly expensive project.
As noted by the two articles, the project’s estimated cost was $40 billion when voters approved bond financing for the project in 2008. The project’s estimate now stands at $105 billion.
Both articles cover current funding opportunities in the project mix. California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget proposal for the year, for example, proposes billions of dollars for rail and transportation projects, which could contribute funding if approved by the state legislature. Meanwhile, Democrats in the California State Legislature closed the 2021 legislative session trying to revoke funding for the 2008 bond.
Then there’s the up and down federal government support for the project:
“In May 2019, the Federal Railroad Administration announced officially ended its agreement with the CHSRA for the high-speed rail project, reversing nearly $1 billion in funding,” according to Roads and Bridges. The Biden administration has since returned the funding, according to the article.
Governor Newsom has also been reluctant to support the project in the past: in February 2019, Newsom announced plans to scale back the high-speed rail project.