Just like the Santa Barbara Traffic Department, City Council, Mayor and the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, California is also neglecting infrastructure while planning huge, expensive projects that have no value basis in reality. When the cost of land and infrastructure is combined with the questionable environmental impacts, is such waste of money justified in an ailing economy?
The facts show that the anti-car fantasy begins to look more like a nightmare:
no congestion relief
no energy savings
no environmental benefits
no carbon reduction
if there is profit, selected private corporations get it
if there is loss, taxpayers eat it
humans and animals on tracks have no chance with a 200mph train
Doesn't it make you wonder why politicians are eager to get their private corporation buddies multi-bilion dollar contracts during hard economic times?
"Close scrutiny of these high-speed rail plans reveals that they
do not live up to the hype. As attractive as 110- to
220-mile-per-hour trains might sound, even the
most optimistic forecasts predict they will take
few cars off the road. At best, they will replace for profit
private commuter airlines with heavily
subsidized public rail systems that are likely to
require continued subsidies far into the future.
Nor are high-speed rail lines particularly environmentally
friendly. Planners have predicted that
a proposed line in Florida would use more energy
and emit more of some pollutants than all of the
cars it would take off the road. California planners
forecast that high-speed rail would reduce pollutionand
greenhouse gas emissions by amere 0.7 to
1.5 percent—but only if ridership reached the high
end of projected levels. Lower ridership would nullify
energy savings and pollution reductions.
Since Japan introduced high-speed bullet
trains, passenger rail has lost more than half its
market share to the automobile. Since Italy,
France, and other European countries opened
their high-speed rail lines, rail’s market share in
Europe has dwindled from 8.2 to 5.8 percent of
travel. If high-speed rail doesn’t work in Japan and
Europe, how can it work in the United States?
As megaprojects— the California high-speed rail
is projected to cost $33 to $37 billion—high-speed
rail plans pose serious risks for taxpayers. Costs of
recent rail projects in Denver and Seattle are running
60 to 100 percent above projections.
In short, high-speed rail proposals are high cost,
high-risk megaprojects that promise little
or no congestion relief, energy savings, or other
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