To the editor: As the reality of the folly of the high-speed rail line from Bakersfield to Modesto finally becomes undeniable, the state pivots and tries an end run. Now, we are being told that funds may be diverted so we can have higher-speed rail between Burbank and Anaheim.
Well, we have some excellent examples of how that works. I have ridden the systems in Taiwan and Japan. They’re nice, and some of their lines are subsidized, I might add. They do whisk you along at high speeds.
But that’s out in the country with nothing around. As soon as they enter a city, the trains slow down.
The last time I checked, Burbank to Anaheim is still heavily populated. No train is going through there at high speeds -- no way, no how, not ever. Reality bites.
Michael Gorman, Shadow Hills
To the editor: The potential money switch puts the high-speed train on a different but no better track. Switching tracks, like switching deck chairs on the Titanic, deflects attention from the underlying problem.
In 2013, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny ruled that the High-Speed Rail Authority “abused its discretion” in approving a funding plan that fails to identify required funding sources. Now, in 2019, nothing in that ruling has changed.
Why is a switch to conventional slower-speed rail even being considered? In 2008, the high-speed train bond measure was passed by voters. Since then, China has built 18,000 miles of high-speed train lines.
Why is it that we haven’t been able to build even one mile of the 500-mile high-speed train system that was supposed to be completed by 2020?
Albert Perdon, De Luz, Calif.
To the editor: Every two weeks I see 10% taken out of my paycheck for California state income taxes. Now, I read about $20 billion in funding for a high-speed rail line between Bakersfield and Merced.
While considering the sheer audacity of this wasteful project and my paycheck again headed down the drain, I was reminded of Steve McQueen’s character in “Papillon,” who, when asked by Dustin Hoffman’s character if his desperate plan to escape the island on a raft made of coconuts will work, replied, “Does it matter?”
Kevin H. Park, Westlake Village