By Jordan Mitchell | Staff Writers |
State rail authority has reconsidered initial plans to begin construction of Southern California’s bullet train in Burbank and may start in the Bay Area.
A recent article published by the Los Angeles Times accused rail planners of underestimating project deadlines, as well as their $68.4 billion budget to build the bullet train.
“The very fact that they’re thinking of going 180 degrees from all of the planning they’ve been making so far, to me is an indication that the very issues that the Los Angeles Times brought up are the kinds of issues that I think they have to deal with,” said assembly member Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) in an interview with KCRA News in Sacramento.
Originally, the first segment of construction was to begin in Burbank and then extend to Palmdale, later connecting to a future bullet train in Las Vegas, Nev., according to the Los Angeles Times article.
While starting the first segment of the bullet train in Burbank would have proved beneficial for individuals who commute daily.
Others argue their tax dollars should be spent elsewhere.
“Personally, I don’t think we should use our tax dollars. I don’t go to Vegas, so I think the people who would use it can donate their tax dollars to make it. It’s a cool idea, but I wouldn’t use it so I don’t want my tax dollars to go to it,” said student Angelica Gaubatz.
At an assembly hearing Dan Richard, Board Chairman of the high-speed rail authority, addressed the financial concern.
“There are a range of uncertainties here, so I can’t look you in the eye and tell you it will be $68 billion. I will tell you this: When you see our new business plan, the number’s going to be less than $68 billion,” said Richard.