Saturday, May 14, 2011

"BART's Oakland Airport Connector too costly to stop"

Photo by Parsons Corporation

Matier & Ross wrote the head to this post in their May 11 column, quoting BART officials that killing the $484 million project would mean that the $95 million already spent would be wasted. That means work on the project must continue!

On the same page, there's a story on the legislative analyst's critical report on the state's high-speed rail project, which the legislature is expected to give $185 million for the next fiscal year. 

The analyst's report questions the financial underpinnings of the HSR project, particularly the required $17-19 billion from the federal government to build the system, and the $1 billion in annual interest payments if/when the $9 billion in bonds are sold that voters authorized in 2008. Good money after bad? 

But if we cancel this project now, wouldn't the $3 billion the feds gave California for the project be wasted? 

Well, yes, but does that mean we must spend another $43 billion---the official, radically underestimated price-tag for the project---to justify spending the original $3 billion? That's the logic being followed by supporters of this folly.

After demolishing the financial plan to build the system with his analysis, the analyst lamely concludes that management of the CHSR project should be transferred to Caltrans, even though there's no money to build the system!

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma and other Democrats continue to support that awful project.

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At 8:11 AM, Blogger mw said...

This sounds remarkably similar to the Vietnam War rationale. "We have already lost 25,000 soldiers in Vietnam - they will have died in vain unless we send even more to Vietnam."

We eventually lost 50,000 lives there before abandoning the country to the North Vietnamese.

Dollars are not lives of course. But the rationale is the same for just more loss and waste.

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, like with high-speed rail, it's about the money---and union jobs---not the merits of these projects. The Central Subway is another worthless project, a political deal Willie Brown made with Rose Pak years ago. The city is pouring money into that hole even as Muni is underfunded every year. Not a single dissenting voice from City Hall. Instead, they're pushing ahead with more awful projects, like Treasure Island and Parkmerced.


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