March 13, 2013
Instead of embracing proven transportation solutions, the Obama administration seems bent on embracing yesterday’s tomorrow of high speed rail. And now the government is considering a plan to spend $5.5 billion on a high-speed rail project in California and Nevada.
The Heritage Foundation’s Emily Goff explains:
The train, called XpressWest, would run from Victorville, California, to Las Vegas, Nevada. As Heritage Foundation visiting fellow Wendell Cox notes with skepticism, “Promoters expect people to drive 50 to 100 miles to get to the station and then get off the freeway, park, and board the train for the final 175 miles to Las Vegas.” Translation: Keep on dreaming.
Indeed, the plan’s viability depends on wildly optimistic projections of ridership—four times that of Amtrak’s Acela train on the Northeast Corridor—and accompanying fare box revenues. If they fail to materialize, as Cox’s risk assessment of the project estimates, then the train will be unable to repay the loan, leaving taxpayers on the hook.
High-speed rail is one of the more expensive and thus unviable forms of transportation. If it worked, the commercial financial sector wouldn’t have steered clear of it before costly federal subsidies came along.
Do you think the California-to-Nevada high speed rail project is a waste of taxpayer money?