California’s Bullet Train Just Gets Better and Better

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California’s bullet train gets more appealing with every new business plan:

California will need to double down on support of the bullet train by digging deeper into the state’s wallet and accepting a three-year delay in completing the project’s initial leg, a new business plan for the 220-mph system shows.

….The new plan calls for completion of the entire system by 2029, one year later than under the old business plan. Once the initial system starts showing a profit, the business plan asserts, private investors would jump in with an estimated $21 billion, based on financial calculations.

….The 99-page plan and its backup technical documents again raise questions about service and speed. A sample operating schedule does not show any nonstop trains between Los Angeles and San Francisco. The fastest travel time between the cities would be 3 hours and 14 minutes, not the 2 hours and 40 minutes many people expect.

Yes, I’m sure private investors will be panting to invest, just like they’ve invested so much in iffy high-speed rail construction elsewhere in the world. They’ll be especially eager in another few years, when this project will undoubtedly be forecast to open around 2040 or so, and estimates of LA-SF travel time will be four hours. Who could say no?

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Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

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It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

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