The dubious high-speed rail report


The Chron’s blast at the state’s high-speed rail system is a big headline, but the report it’s based on is pretty dubious.

As the always-insightful Robert Cruikshank at Calitics points out, the state auditor is trying to blame the High Speed Rail Authority for the fact that federal funding for the project isn’t yet in place. But there’s no reason to believe that situation will remain forever; both Congress and the Obama administration have been friendly toward high-speed rail, and California is in line to get a significant amount of it.


And in the worst-case scenario, if there’s no federal funding at all, the money California voters have already approved won’t go to waste -- it will go, for example, to improve the existing Caltrain lines.




For some HSR critics and skeptics, the uncertainty around federal funding is a reason to either not build the project, or to not build it in their backyard. The proper response, however, is not to be a passive actor, but to instead actively work to secure federal funding for HSR. You can go to the site and told their Congressional representatives they want $4 billion in the FY 2011 budget, as a first step toward advocacy for the $50 billion in the transportation bill reauthorization.