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Opinion

Readers React: The lie that spawned California’s bullet train: Private investors would be eager to fund it

At the San Joaquin River Viaduct, workers continue pouring concrete for the pergola deck that will c
A section of the California high-speed rail system near the San Joaquin River in the Central Valley is seen under construction.
(California High Speed Rail Authority)

To the editor: I could not believe your editorial chiding Gov. Gavin Newsom for scaling back the bullet train.

If the voters had carefully read Proposition 1A before authorizing it in 2008, it never would have been approved. The initiative was based on a lie that construction and operation would not require public subsidy.

After reading the proposition, I voted “no” for two reasons. First, the idea that the private sector would rush to invest in the construction was sheer fantasy. So the state diverted public funds to keep the thing afloat.

Second, the whole project made no sense. The serious transportation problems in California are within major metropolitan areas, not between them. The bullet train would compete with airlines that provide rapid connections between cities. Not a single 18-wheeler would be eliminated from our highways.

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The bullet train was, and remains, a total boondoggle.

William Bradshaw, San Diego

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To the editor: Let’s put the people in charge of building the Mars rover in charge of building the bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

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If Uzbekistan can have a high-speed rail line, maybe we can too.

Steve Tarzynski, Santa Monica

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To the editor: I hope Newsom will put money that would have been spent on high-speed rail project into local light rail, which has a far greater bang for the transportation buck.

Several of these projects are shovel ready or nearly so and only need the dollars to be built. When planned and built successfully, these lines will help create the rail culture necessary to complete the L.A.-to-San Francisco bullet train.

Fred Smoller, Orange

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