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Assemblyman Calls for High Speed Termination

High Speed Rail Project Faces Major Scrutiny as New Leaders Set to Take Office

By Sean Brown, October 17, 2018 7:45 am

California State Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Sacramento) has called for the termination of the high speed rail projects as its lingering status remains on ‘pause.’

Referring to an article published by the SacBee, the assemblyman said “Pause? I say Terminate. A pause would only add to the sunk costs of a project that shows no signs of ever getting built. Better to scrap it entirely, and invest the money in road maintenance, traffic relief, and regional transportation infrastructure.”

Kiley is among a long list of Republicans who have maintained that the project’s cost heavily outweighs its intended benefits. Even many Democrats have given the venture major reconsideration as former State Controller Steve Westly (D) told the Bee, “it should be put on hold… investing in education, stabilizing our pension funds and repairing our roads should be the current priority.”

Voted on in 2008 via Proposition 1A, the high speed rail system was supposed to be able to carry Californian’s between San Francisco and Los Angeles in under 3 hours. However, during the last eight years cost estimates have skyrocketed and federal and private funding sources have dried up.

Now, with less than three weeks left in Governor Jerry Brown’s term, state and local politicians are quarreling over what to do about the once popular idea. Furthermore, current Democratic gubernatorial front-runner Gavin Newsom has failed to directly address the situation. He has hinted at gradually continuing to build the project through incremental funding, although details remain unclear. Republican candidate John Cox has stated that he wants to scrap the project altogether after public support has decreased dramatically over the last decade.

Sean Brown

Before becoming a writer for the California Globe, Sean served as a Legislative Director in the New York City Council and is an NYU alumnus.
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