Thursday, October 2, 2008

Metro Gold Line Extension Moving Right Along

The Metro Gold Line Extension is 87% complete and Metro has bragged that "the $899 million project is ahead of schedule, under budget, and has logged 3.4 million hours of construction without a lost time injury, an unprecedented safety record for a major public works project."

This is great news. I also find this interesting in light of one of the most pervasive arguments made by opponents to the California High-Speed Rail project. Opponents to public rail projects, such as the oil money backed libertarian think tank the Reason Foundation, are fond of saying that any government works project will always be behind schedule and over budget. Opponents like to make up numbers based on their ideas of government waste, rather than offering any real supporting evidence. This has led to claims as ridicules as the project would go $60 billion over budget and likely never be finished.

Over at the California High Speed Rail Blog they took a piece from the Colbert playbook to discuss truth versus truthiness in these arguments against the HSR project. So the next time you hear someone say in a Dr. Evil tone that this train is going to cost 100 billion dollars, you can call them out on their bull shit.


Grant Henninger said...

I fully support Prop 1A. I hope that a high-speed rail would greatly benefit California, and it would come right into my home town of Anaheim, so it would be an easy and quick way to get up to LA. However, I do have one question regarding the high-speed rail plan: where are we going to get the electricity to run the trains? Do you know of any plans to expand our electricity generation capacity to offset the draw that the high-speed rail will have on our power grid?

Gary said...

Hey Grant,

I'm glad to hear you support Prop 1A. About where that electricity will come from for the high speed train, there has been investigation into that. What's really exciting is that potentially this train could even go 100% run by renewable energy sources like wind and solar. For more info on this possibility check out this post on the CAHSR blog.


Rafael said...

@ grant -

for reference, the HSR system will use less than 1% of the electricity sold in California today - never mind in 2030. One additional solar thermal plant out in the desert plus a bunch of biogas-powered backup generators in the Central Valley is all it would take.

Btw, the pumps that transfer water from the Sacramento delta to LA use more electricity than HSR ever will.