Friday, August 3, 2012

Your California high-speed choo-choo update (Updated)


Is there any better indication of the folly and complete lack of seriousness attached to California's high-speed rail project than the following?:

On Tuesday, President Obama, whose high-speed-rail initiative has come off the tracks in several parts of the country, named Dan Richard, chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, a “Transportation Innovator Champion of Change.”

The "Champions of Change" program was created as part of the Obama administration’s "Winning the Future" initiative. Each week, a different endeavor from education to business is highlighted and honors are bestowed upon individuals or organizations that have made substantial contributions to their communities.

“Today’s champions are leaders in developing and implementing innovative transportation initiatives,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. “They are making a difference every day in their local communities and across the country by improving America’s transportation infrastructure.”

(italics, ours)

The man and his $68 billion* Browndoggle haven't laid a single mile of track and already he is beknighted with goofy circa 2008-2009 sobriquets.

California's high-speed choos really are the perfect metaphor for this administration.

*electricity not included

(UPDATE #1): Just a quick look at what is possibly to come with high-speed choo-choos:

Amtrak lost more than $800 million on its food and beverage services over the last 10 years, largely because of waste, employee theft and lack of proper oversight, government auditors have found.

The railroad’s food and beverage service has never broken even since it was required by Congress to do so in 1981. The losses were the focus of a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing on Thursday that reflected partisan views over how Amtrak should be run. Republican lawmakers suggested that food services should be privatized. Democrats questioned the need for the hearing, saying the railroad was dealing with the losses.

Joseph H. Boardman, president and chief executive of Amtrak, confirmed the losses but said the railroad was taking steps to address the problem. “We are still looking for ways to improve our cost recovery,” he said.

According to audits by the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, and the railroad’s own inspector general, Amtrak loses about $80 million a year selling food. Since 2002, Amtrak’s food service has lost $834 million.

(italics, ours)

Dealing with the losses in the same manner, we assume, as the Department of Justice is dealing with Fast and Furious.

We suppose the good news is that it would be nigh impossible to lose anywhere near that amount of money considering the ridership we predict for the Madera-Bakersfield corridor that will be the first section to be built and presumably the first to operate.

Given that, can we just assume that Governor Brown has already counted this as a cost-saving measure?




Secular Apostate said...

I have concluded that the status of the CA high-speed rail initiative is a leading indicator for progress toward the Idiocracy (aka Progressive state).

So far, things ain't lookin' good.

Mostly Nothing said...

It makes perfect sense. Rewards and honors shouldn't have to wait for actual accomplishments. Big O was awarded the nobel peace prize after all.

Anonymous said...

This is another example of government running out of control. My hope is for some sort of proposition that will channel the money away from the "high speed crash" and use the money more responsibly.
-Michael, Tustin, CA