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LAO: Risky High-Speed Rail Project Needs Overhaul

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mac Taylor's report questions whether there's enough money to build a High-Speed Rail system from the Bay Area to Los Angeles.

Taylor: "There's a lot more money that the state would have to get from the federal government in order to be able to complete this project."

It questions the current cost projections:

Taylor: "There is the much greater probability that costs could be much greater than $43 billion."

And it questions the decision to build the first phase in the Central Valley - even though that's a federal requirement.

Taylor: "You can't just have a Central Valley segment.  There's not the ridership that could support it."

Taylor even recommends stripping the state's High-Speed Rail Authority of its decision-making powers and putting CalTrans in charge.

Taylor: "We've given the authority a lot of just that - their name, authority, autonomy, and in some cases, maybe it's been too much."

In a statement, the Authority's CEO says he'll thoroughly review the report's findings.

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