California breaks ground on bullet train as climate solution

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – California broke ground in Fresno Tuesday morning on the largest infrastructure project in the state’s history, the bullet train.

The train will connect Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s a $68 billion project linking two cities in less than three hours travel time in speeds up to 200 miles-per-hour.

Though the press release stated there would eventually be a high speed rail service to San Diego, some are saying it is not likely.

The bullet train project is Governor Jerry Brown’s legacy, and it comes at great political risk.

“He’s going to have a legacy. It’s just not the one he’s thinking of. It’s gong to to be rusting rails, non-operational, huge overruns in costs. It’s going to be a nightmare from a taxpayer standpoint, but that will be his legacy,” said Richard Rider from San Diego Tax Fighters. 

Governor Brown is determined to ride California into the future.

“If we get to our 40 or 45 million or beyond and to be able to move people, you’re gonna need a train. It’s gonna be obvious,” said the governor.

It is hard to imagine a project that has been more controversial, and the uncertainties are much greater than the certainties. 

“The conceptualization, the environmental analysis, the appropriations, the litigation, the planning, site preparation, demolition, they are all behind us. Now we build,” said Dan Richard.

The bond measure voters passed in 2008, included San Diego, but now, that link is nebulous, at best.

“Since then they have dropped San diego. Two things happened. The price went up and the service went down, and very important from our standpoint because now there’s going to be no high speed rail ever from L.A. to San Diego. There’s no plans for that whatsoever,” said Richard Rider.

But the governor and his supporters march on.

“Governor Brown, without your vision, without your steadfastness, and the commitment to do big things, we would not be here today,” said Congressman Jim Costa.

The project is far afield of what voters approved, and the polls say they would vote it down handily if given the chance.

The project requires one-third of the cost to be picked up by investors, and one-third form the federal government, which Congress says it will not do.

The governor raided cap and trade funds to get the project started.

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