High-speed Rail Falters in California

by Lou Dolinar

Joel Kotkin at Forbes points out that users of cash-strapped commuter transit in California are voicing opposition to high-speed rail:

One can of course expect that anti-spending conservatives will be the biggest cheerleaders for high-speed rail’s decline.

But transit advocates may be forced to join the chorus of opposition, in order to steer transit spending towards more basic priorities as buses in Los Angeles, subways in New York or commuter rail in the San Francisco Bay Area.

More opposition is emerging in the legislature, where a bill has been proposed that would, if signed into law, fire the people currently in charge of the project:

All nine board members of the controversial California High-Speed Rail Authority may have to find new jobs if a bill introduced Friday by state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) is signed into law.

The bill, SB 517, would disband the beleaguered group and replace it with members who have specific expertise, and who agree to new ethical requirements and are subject to more administrative accountability.