Latest California Bullet Train Business Plan Has Much Bigger Price Tag

The estimated cost to finish construction of California's high-speed rail line has gone up again. The latest business plan released Wednesday by the High-Speed Rail Authority show an increase of $1.3 billion, and that brings the total project cost to $80.3 billion. The cost bump is less than in previous years and is mainly because the plan pushes back the completion of a high-speed rail link between Silicon Valley and the Central Valley.

The HSRA report does indicate that construction is on schedule to meet a 2022 deadline to have approximately 20 percent of the track in place.

Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson, a longtime critic of the project, and reacted as expected to the new the new plan.

"The 2020 business plan is yet another make believe document, like all the others before it," Patterson said in a written statement. "The project is falling apart, and the costs continue to climb. The Authority continues to hope billions will magically appear, while the fight to siphon off Central Valley dollars for Southern California rages on. It’s become a pathetic fight for the scraps of a failing project."

The plan also comes amid pressure from state lawmakers to peel off more of the money to help urban commuters. The report instead emphasizes money already going to projects in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas.

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