Monday, December 5, 2011

HSR-Dedicated Funding

A recent article on High Speed Rail in California painted a bleak picture of the future of the project. The main problem appears to be no dedicated funding source to pay for the $98 billion project. California does have some rail lines already in place and could be used as a funding source to fund the HSR line through the center of California. Here are some yearly ridership numbers I found:

Amtrak California




San Diego Trolley




Sacramento RTD




If we take the same approach as the anti-road contingent and press for rail to pay for itself, we can have the riders of the rail line pay extra per trip. If we add a dollar per trip for the HSR rail, we can raise over $77 million dollars per year. By the time the HSR project is finished in a projected 2034 a total of $1.69 billion dollars of the projected $98 billion dollar cost would be raised. Of course we need the HSR rail to be fully funded, so in order to make that happen we need to charge the 77 million trips an extra $58 per trip. No problem right?