Public Transit Problems, Should California Keep Funding The Bullet Train?

Written by Amanda Angulo

Democratic officials in Sacramento have to make a decision between wasting billions of dollars on a train that leads to nowhere or wasting billions of dollars on government buses and trains, which lost most of their riders.

But why would they even consider spending so much money on an industry that they claimed several times to be dirty, and spreaders of germs, diseases, and viruses, especially when there is a recent spike in new COVID Delta cases?

Gavin Newsom has asked the legislators for $4.2 billion in order to finish the Central Valley link for the bullet train that was approved for $10 billion by voters thirteen years ago, yet they are not entirely sold on the idea. 

This bullet train was supposed to link Los Angeles and San Francisco, but the project is struggling to complete the 119-mile link due to a lack of support for how the funding should be used. 

Ethan Elking, the director of the climate program at the UC Berkeley School of Law mentioned that usually for a project such as this, they would begin at a spot where there’s a lot of people and then expand outwards from there and eventually connect the track. However, “We did this really backwards, and now we’re starting to really see the political price of that decision,” Elking said. 

And, of course, Gov. Newson and his administration have praised high-speed rail as a job creator in the Central Valley, where there is economic suffering. 

Newsom’s minions have also supported his decision for the high-rail transit: “We are going to bat at the federal level for the funding necessary to build this first-in-the-nation high-speed rail system, and we urge the State Legislature to maintain its commitment at the state level,” as written by U.S. California Democratic Senators Feinstein and Padilla. 

Luckily, the legislators have not approved this yet as they are skeptical that there are more costs than benefits here. Glendale’s Democratic Assembly Transportation Committee chairperson Laura Freidman even asked, “How (do) we turn California car culture into a California culture of transit of all sorts?

Photo via The Verge