Biden Throws $3 Billion to Calif. Electric Train Project That’s 13 Years Behind, $95 Billion Over Budget, 91% Shortened

Craig Bannister | December 12, 2023
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The Biden Administration has announced that it’s giving $3.01 billion of taxpayers' money to a failed California electric train project launched in 2008 that’s nearly four times more expensive than originally projected – and that has yet to produce a single inch of track.

Biden made the announcement on Friday, promising that the project will, ultimately, produce high-speed, "all-electric trainsets will produce zero emissions and be powered by 100% renewable energy” and add 171 miles of track “extending the rail line between Bakersfield and Merced.”

What Biden failed to mention, however, is that the project was supposed to add 1,955 miles of track - more than eleven times the new estimate.

"This commuter train isn’t even ‘high speed,’ is at least 13 years behind schedule, and will now cost four times the original price tag promised to voters," Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) told Fox News Digital.

Indeed, the project for the full 1,955 miles was budgeted at $33 billion and expected to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles. At $128 billion, the new estimate is nearly four times higher, while the amount of new track is 91% lower.

Indeed, the project for the full 1,955 miles was budgeted at $33 billion and expected to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles. Fifteen years later, at $128 billion, the new estimate is nearly four times higher, while the amount of new track is 91% lower. At that time, the federal government planned to subsidize $24 billion of the cost.

“Biden and Newsom sure know how to waste your money,” Rep. LaMalfa added.

Republicans have dubbed the project “the train to nowhere” and doubt it will ever be completed.

In response to Biden’s announcement, California Senate Republicans published a Fact vs. Myth website, debunking claims made by the project’s supporters, including:

Myth: High-Speed Rail will cost $33 billion.

Fact: Now estimated to be at least $128 billion before completion.

Myth: High-speed Rail will allow travel “from Los Angeles to San Francisco in about 2 ½ hours for about $50 a person.”

Fact: In 2015, a Los Angeles Times study estimated the cost of the trip would be at least $83, back when the cost was expected to be nearly four times lower. At the new cost, plus inflation, the ticket price is sure to be much higher.

Myth: High-Speed Rail will attract billions of dollars of private investment.

Fact: In the fifteen years since the project was announced in 2008, “not a single dime has materialized.”

Nonetheless, Democrats continue to be optimistic, as California's KTVU reports:

"I'm getting old, but I'm not dying until I jump on the first train that moves out of Merced, California," said former [Democrat] California Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown is currently 85 years old, which would put him at 93, if the trains become operational by the new target of 2030.

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