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The San Diego Union-Tribune: White House has good reasons to pull back bullet-train grant

Staff WriterMay 23, 2019

The Federal Railroad Administration’s decision to formally cancel a $929 million federal grant made in 2010 to the hugely troubled California bullet-train project was immediately depicted by Gov. Gavin Newsom as “political retribution”

In December 2016, federal rail officials warned — correctly, as it turned out — of a potential 50% cost overrun as well as years of delays on the construction of the initial high-speed rail segment in the Central Valley.

California has failed to meet the core requirement of the grant: that the state is making “reasonable progress” on the project.

Instead, it’s at least a decade behind schedule, at least $45 billion over budget and a constant target of critical state audits and investigative journalists.

In February, Newsom acknowledged the project’s deep problems when he installed new leadership on the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s board and said the agency didn’t have a credible plan.

— The San Diego Union-Tribune

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