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Judge: Rail authority's funding plan violated law

Original post made on Aug 17, 2013

The California High-Speed Rail Authority violated state law and "abused its discretion" in proceeding with the controversial San Francisco-to-Los Angeles train system without first identifying the funding sources for the line's first usable segment, a Sacramento Superior Court judge wrote in a Friday decision.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, August 17, 2013, 7:20 PM

Comments (14)

2 people like this
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 18, 2013 at 11:34 am

This thing was a blatant scam from the very beginning. Civil forfeiture is the only way to recover the money.

2 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 18, 2013 at 10:31 pm

This is exactly what I was talking about when I ran for City Council last year! One of the main portions of my platform was doing away with this High Speed Rail scam. From the very beginning, I said that the financing for this made no sense and was merely a way of funneling hard earned money from taxpayers' pockets into the pockets of special interests.

This was touted as a 'green' project, but the only green it will see in my lifetime is the cold hard cash that will be wasted if this project is allowed to proceed! If you read the projects' own documents, HSR will not be finished until 2029 and will take a minimum of 30 years after that to become carbon neutral! This doesn't sound like a very green plan to me.

Additionally, why should it be run from San Francisco to LA? The SF to San Jose corridor is already highly developed with both rail and housing. It would be far simpler to have it run from San Jose to LA since Caltrain already serves SF to San Jose and the planned Caltrain improvements would not require the seizure of private property for additional right of way (at least not to my knowledge).

The fact that the HSR project is $25 Billion short just implementing the initial phase in the Central Valley, and that some of the sources of funding that were identified in the plan don't even exist, should set off warning bells even for the most hard core HSR supporters.

Why is the State trying so hard to build something that will bankrupt it when we have so many other pressing needs such as improving education and housing the homeless?

Jim Neal
Old Mountain View

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Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Aug 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm

AC is a registered user.

@Jim Neal,

So how can we abort the project, now that we know that it's been mismanaged?

2 people like this
Posted by PoliticalInsider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 20, 2013 at 9:07 am

If they would only listen. A bore under the CalTrain tracks at a depth of 50 feet would make the Bay Area link feasible. Bart proves it can be done. Instead we argue about blended track. All it takes is one lone rock from the commercial traffic and that lightweight train is Spain disaster.

All they have done is spend the money on PR. We should all demand that get repaid as this smites as a scandal.

Its people like myself that want high speed rail, only done right. All the arguments to date are backward headed idiocy. Imagine the way they want it now, quadruple the traffic at 12 minute intervals. The intersection at Moffett and Castro would cease to exist as a thorough fare. An aim of certain council members I might add.

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Posted by @Jim Neal
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 20, 2013 at 11:42 am

The Mountain View City Council cant veto this State project. MV can lobby against a station here but the State can do whatever it wants. Only the voters or the Courts can pull the plug, not the leaders of one of the towns along the way or else Atherton would have already done it.

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Posted by Amtrak
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Trains are so much of the past that they are hurting financially.

Amtrak needs federal funds because they can only make 44ct for every dollar.

This idea of an HSR is propostris when we have roads, bridges, infrastructures that need work, an ever growing govt pension funds and medical costs. Yet, here they are, the politicians, with bloated dreams of trains. I say if they want trains, give them the lego train sets to work with.

But guess what, who will pay for all this, yes you and me, they take it directly for your paychecks each week.

Once the government starts getting out of the red, it's in, then they can start dreaming. Anything the govt runs turns into a money pit.

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Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 21, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Resident of Castro City,

You are correct that the City Council can't veto a State project, but I hope that you will note that I never made that claim. What I am saying is that I am personally against it for all of the reasons that I did outline above. However, the Council could do several things to make it's displeasure known if it chose to do so. Other City Councils have spoken out against it and even filed lawsuits. If all the affected cities of California said "No" what do you think the result would be? And even if Mountain View stood alone in it's opposition to the project, why would that be wrong? I have found that sometimes, you have to be the one person with the courage to stand up and say "No" to what you know is wrong, even if you know that our cause is hopeless.

AC - You can call and write your local and state representatives and let them know how you feel... then get 500 friends to do the same, and tell them to get 500 of their friends to do it. You'd be amazed how fast this would shut down if we could do that.

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Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 21, 2013 at 4:33 pm


Fifty feet below grade tunnel like BART in Berkeley (which Berkeley paid for?). If HSR does not have the money now, how will they pay to double the cost from SJ to SF by tunneling. If Mtn Vw gets a tunnel, so do all of the other NIMBY little cities (some of whom have already sued). The voters approved it, the voters can kill it. Folks who are opposed, I'd suggest you stop whining on forums and start organizing an initiative petition drive. Nobody already in power who supports it will do it for you. Neither will those of us who support it.

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Posted by Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Fremont Bart, dope

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Posted by To Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 22, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Tunneling is no longer that expensive as BART proved in Fremont. Oh and the HSR has no money? What are you smoking?

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Posted by Old Steve
a resident of Rex Manor
on Aug 23, 2013 at 9:11 am

If HSR is already so short of money that folks are litigating to put it out of business because it cannot show us the money, where does the tunnel money come from? Fremont BART across Central Park is a shallow, cut and cover "underpass". Tunneling (think Caldecott, or Devils Slide) is a completely different undertaking. If you put HSR in a cut and cover "slot" on the Peninsula, keeping Caltrain running while doing so is a huge challenge, and also nearly double the current "blended" proposal. So some folks are mad because it is too expensive, and others are mad because it doesn't spend enough on their priorities. If it deserves to be killed, kill it with an initiative. Judge Kenney can hit "pause" but not stop. Full Stop will need to be up to the voters as long as Brown is Governor.

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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Aug 23, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Here's my surprised face Web Link

4 people like this
Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 25, 2013 at 7:30 am

Remember this: Government always gets bigger.

The voters approved the creation of another government bureaucracy in 2008.

The government isn't going to give it back no matter how crazy their plans look.

I really hope we never see one mile of track laid for this boondoggle. It will just mean more government employees giving us piss poor service and then retiring with a pension for the rest of their lives that we have to pay for.

While we end up with a train service no one wants. I can't remember the last time I heard someone say "If only there was a train that went to Los Angeles." Well there is, it's called SOUTHWEST AIRLINES. If a ticket on Cailtrain from MV to SF is $14 roundtrip lord knows what a trip to LA and back is going to cost. I'd rather fly on a plan. It's faster.

6 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 9, 2016 at 8:14 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

I just though that this would be a good reminder of what is really going on with High Speed rail and why it is a bad idea! To this day, it is still not funded. The taxpayers were lied to, and we continue to be lied to about this project. When I ran for office in 2012, I estimated the the total cost for the HSR project would be in the neighborhood of $200 Billion and I stand by that number today.

I also ask people to note that there is not any information (at least that I have been able to find) regarding how much tickets will cost. For this project to be profitable, it will likely cost MORE to get to LA by HSR than by jet. And the price to go from the central Valley to here will be so expensive, that if you can afford it, then you could probably afford to buy a house here and skip the commute!

Jim Neal
Old Mountain View

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