Originally Posted by slock
It would be a stunted endeavor at best to not extend to Sacramento and San Diego, and I don't think that's even an option.
The Sacramento and San Diego Spurs are conditional on a couple of points..
the State would have to demonstrate that it can bring the intial segment of the system in on time and on budget. There is no chance this thing would be built for the $37 billion or $40 billion now estimated. ZERO
Once the poltiticans and electorate get a taste for how much this thing will end up costing, in the end, there will be zero support in the bay area or Los Angeles for building the San Diego and Sacramento spurs.
Now I can't speak for everyone in San Deigo, but the few people I've talked to, have voiced the very same concerns and skepticism.
The second probelm as I understand it, is that the spurs to San Diego and Sacramento would only be built with proceeds from fares.. So in other words if this thing proves a bust there wont be money available to construct the spurs. There wont be a second bond, and even if there were a second bond sent to the voters, it's doubtful people living in L.A. or San Francisco would have much interest iin funding the spurs, especially once they see how expensive the intial system ends up costing.
If you are a supporter of HSR, why not support building the spurs first, since that is currently where the demand is?? It makes more sense to first connect the Bay Area & Sacramento and Los Angeles & San Deigo, since both regions are struggle with growth along their respective transportation corridors. If the system can be constructed and proves cost effective on proven routes then look at a larger system.
What's wrong with that??
One more thing. This campaign hasn't even yet begun, so if your a supporter of the system as proposed I wouldn't get too comfortable with old poll numbers. Californians aren't big on supporting large bonds for projects that they think wont benefit them directly. As I said before, I believe oppositon to this proposal to link SF and LA will be overwhelming in San Deigo and Sacramento, once it goes to the polls; even without an effect campaign to oppose HSR.
Once Southwest Airlines and other carriers come out in oppositon to this (as we know they will), expect their media blitz, to start carving into the numbers of potential supporters (or the fence sitters)
This proposal is going nowhere as it is proposed right now.
But if supporters want a vote, then I say let's vote. But the risk for proponents going to the polls with an imperfect plan is that it will kill HSR permanently... Wouldn't it be better to build the spurs first or the entire system at once, making HSR more attractive to potential supporters???
Again without Sacramento and San Deigo voters support and with an effective campaign by the airline industry, HSR is going nowhere.