As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the financial revision figures for the project are raising concerns, rightfully so.
“Despite a new $2.25-billion infusion of federal economic stimulus funding, there are intensifying concerns -- even among some high-speed rail supporters -- that California's proposed bullet train may not deliver on the financial and ridership promises made to win voter backing in 2008.
“Estimates of ticket prices between Los Angeles and San Francisco have nearly doubled in the project's latest business plan, pushing ridership projections down sharply and prompting new skepticism about data underpinning the entire project.
"This just smells funny," said state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), a supporter of high-speed rail and chairman of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.
“New inflation-adjusted construction figures show that outlays needed to build the first 520-mile phase of the system have climbed more than 25%, from $33.6 billion to $42.6 billion.
“And some government watchdogs are concerned that a linchpin commitment to taxpayers in the bullet train's financing measure -- that no local, state or federal subsidies would be required to keep the trains operating -- may be giving way.
“High-speed rail planners recently advised state lawmakers that attracting billions in crucial private financing will probably require government backing of future cash flow. "Without some form of revenue guarantee from the public sector, it is unlikely that private investment will occur at [the planned] level until demand for California high-speed rail is proven," project planners wrote in December.”