California Bullet Train Now Up to $98 Billion, Completion Pushed to 2033

The other shoe dropped today on the latest cost increase for California’s bullet train:

The price of the California bullet train project jumped sharply Friday when the state rail authority announced that the cost of connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco would be $77.3 billion and could rise as high as $98.1 billion — an uptick of at least $13 billion from estimates two years ago. The rail authority also said the earliest trains could operate on a partial system between San Francisco and Bakersfield would be 2029 — four years later than the previous projection. The full system would not begin operating until 2033.

I think that if the rail authority says the cost “could” rise to $98 billion, we can take that to the bank. This means that the new minimum estimate for the train is now $98 billion, up from $33 billion a few years ago. And there’s still no funding source for even a fraction of that. Nor is there likely to ever be unless the state legislature ponies up taxpayer dollars to build it out.

And of course, the estimates of ridership and travel time remain completely unrealistic, just as they’ve always been. Other than that, things are going swimmingly.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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