Tuesday, March 13, 2018
The governor of California, Jerry Brown, decided that what the high-tech state needed was a high-speed train. So, he promotes relentlessly a proposed link between Los Angeles and San Francisco that will pass through the Central Valley. As most boondoggles are, it was under budgeted and far too optimistic in timing. The project is already a PR disaster. The next governor will have to decide if the state will keep funding it or will let it die a natural death. The plan was never thought through or its boosters lied about the timing and cost at the beginning and are only now fessing up to the real numbers. This is another feature of boondoggles. The objective is to get shovels into the ground so a project takes on a life of its own, which is hard to stop. Right now, the California High-speed Rail Authority is building a line to nowhere without any key links in place. It is too early to say the project will end with the next governor, but it is on its death-bed.