California, the once great state, is now wasting money at a staggering rate. This time, a high-speed train from the California desert to Sin City.
The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) has authorized a $3.2 billion tax-exempt, fixed-rate revenue bond issuance to help DesertXpress Enterprises LLC, an affiliate of Virgin Trains USA, build a high-speed train from Victorville, California, to Las Vegas. The new XpressWest service, at speeds of up to 180 miles per hour, will take about 90 minutes one way.
DesertXpress will be able to use the money to pay for the 135 miles of the project located within the state of California. This includes the costs of design, development, construction, operation and maintenance of the rail system itself; a passenger station; a maintenance facility; train cars; and electrification infrastructure. DesertXpress will also be able to use the bonds, which are sponsored by the California county of San Bernardino, to establish a debt service reserve fund, as well as pay for interest and other bond-related expenses. While total spending is listed at around $4.8 billion, “hard construction costs” are $3.6 billion.
Construction, which is expected to begin in the second half of 2020 and wrap up in 2023, according to an IBank staff report, will generate more than 15,800 temporary construction jobs.
Of course, you have to drive from Los Angeles across the mountains north of LA to get to Victorville, park your car and get on the high speed train to Las Vegas. THEN get cab or Uber to your final destination. Odd, since you can fly from LAX to Las Vegas for $39 each way.
But it will produce 15,800 part-time jobs … at a cost of $291,139 per job created. Yikes!
There is only one way out: don’t build it! California taxpayers are already tied to a whipping post.