Monday, March 21, 2016

Hawaii: Another dumb rail project

John Pritchett, Hawaii Reporter

In today's New York Times (Hawaii Struggles to Keep Rail Project From Becoming a Boondoggle) the inevitable story on why this project was a bad idea. People warned about it and tried in vain to stop it (see this and this). 

As predicted it's going to cost a lot more to build. After it's built the next big questions will be, How much will it cost to operate and will it actually alleviate the island's traffic congestion?

A prophetic video opposing the project:


From the NY Times story this morning:

Benjamin J. Cayetano, a former governor of Hawaii and longtime critic of the project, argued that officials lowballed the original estimates of what it would cost to win voter approval. “What is happening is what most of us predicted would happen,” he said. “The way I look at it, it might hit $9 billion. They haven’t hit the hardest part yet.”

The original cost estimate: $4.6 billion.

This is the strategy of supporters of big, dumb, wasteful projects like this and high speed rail in California: lowball costs, exaggerate the benefits and, once the project is under construction, it can't be stopped. Good money must be thrown after bad.

See also Mass Transit Expansion Goes Off the Rails in Many U.S. Cities

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