Tags: high speed rail
Locally, we've seen resistance and difficulties in finding funding for beneficial transit projects like the Del Mar Fairgrounds seasonal rail stop. Billions of tax dollars are instead being directed to high speed rail (HSR). Many voted for the multi-billion dollar HSR project based on green thinking (not to be confused with the monetary kind of green). It turns out that high speed rail might be a green-washed idea, highly supported by rail road construction companies and land speculators along the rail line.
Wheels Coming Off High Speed Rail
When California voters barely approved a $9.95 billion bond measure for High Speed Rail in 2008, they had no idea how soon they would learn the true meaning of the phrase “being railroaded.” As more about this project is revealed, the backlash from the public and political leadership is sure to grow.
For purposes of full disclosure, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association ran the unsuccessful campaign against Prop 1A (not to be confused with 2009’s Prop 1A, an attempt to raise $16 billion in new taxes). Our most potent weapon was a devastating study by the Reason Foundation which revealed that the proponents’ representations regarding costs, fare price and profitability were pure fantasy. But, from the start, we had an uphill battle convincing voters how poorly thought out this measure was. The California Legislature had already stacked the deck by providing such a biased title and summary for the measure that the issue of that deception is still the subject of litigation today. The deceptive ballot material, in addition to the campaign contributions from those who would profit from the project, was enough to ensure victory at the polls – albeit by a very small margin.