SACRAMENTO – Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher (Yuba City) blasted Gov. Newsom and the California High Speed Rail Authority today following the release of the latest project update report, which showed costs skyrocketing as delays continue to mount.
“High-Speed Rail is a scam, perpetrated by Gavin Newsom, to rip off the people of California,” said Gallagher. “Think of how many students we could educate, how much water we could capture, how many acres of forest we could restore if we had pulled the plug on this debacle years ago. Instead, contractors and consultants are rewarded for failure, lining their pockets at the taxpayer's’ expense.”
The project update released today showed:
- Costs for the segment currently under construction between Madera and an almond orchard in Shafter have gone up 27%, or $3.8 billion, since last year.
- The cost of extending construction to Merced and Bakersfield has gone up 41%, or $9.6 billion, since last year.
- There is no longer enough money to build Merced-Bakersfield without a massive infusion of federal funds (at least $8 billion). The Biden Administration recently rejected High-Speed Rail’s $1.2 billion grant request because the project was deemed not to be cost-effective.
- The Merced-Bakersfield line will be delayed by another 1-4 years and ridership estimates are 25% lower than last year’s plan.
In 2008, voters were told that a $9 billion state investment would complete a fully operational rail line connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles by 2020. Currently, the project has spent $10 billion, with will have nothing to show for it beyond a test track from Madera to an almond orchard in Shafter, with no trains and no stations.