Letters to the Editor: Even at $100 billion, California’s bullet train would be a bargain. Here’s why

A full-scale mockup of a high-speed train is displayed at the Capitol building in Sacramento in February 2015.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

To the editor: A letter writer asked, “Honestly, who wants the bullet train?” I do.

Sure, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has blown past all budget projections, but accommodating a train that goes 220 mph means building track that is straight and level, and that is going to cost money to grade the land and build tunnels.

Even if it costs $100 billion, it’s still a bargain. Think about New York’s subway system. The first underground line opened in 1904, and 116 years later, those tunnels are still operational.

If you think about 37 million Californians spending $100 billion, that’s a lot — it comes to about $2,700 per person. But if you think about the rail system lasting 116 years, the amortized cost is $23 per person, or six cents a day.


For the benefit of California’s economy and climate, that’s a price I’m happy to pay.

Denis Cagna, Los Angeles