If You Had To Bet $1000
If you bet $1000, it would be $1000 more than any proponent of high-speed rail has at stake in the project.
Nov 15, 2013
If you had to bet $1000 on whether the high-speed bullet train would cost closer to the projected $68-billion or, say, $300-billion, how would you bet? Me too. Why? The new Bay Bridge cost five times the projected cost, and was 10-years late. The 'Big Dig" tunnels in Boston were projected to cost $2.5-billion, but ultimately cost $15-billion. If you bet $1000, it would be $1000 more than any proponent of high-speed rail has at stake in the project.
In the article below from the Contra Costa Times, "Oxford University megaprojects researcher Alexander Budzier said that in a study of 157 bridges and tunnel projects built from 1919-2001 costs rose on average 34 percent and estimates were low in nine out of 10 cases. High-speed rail and dams fared worse, he said. Researchers blamed the phenomenon on project bias, described as excessive optimism and "strategic misrepresentation or, put simply, lying," Budzier said.
"People think they can do a project faster and so the cost estimates are that much less... and project proponents are the most likely to intentionally misrepresent the risks just to get a project going because once it gets started, it is almost always finished no matter how big the overruns."
"There is no way to get rid of (cost and timeline bias) unless the people making the estimates have something at stake," Thompson said (Louis Thompson, chairman of the California High Speed Rail peer review group). "Unless they know that at the end, 'Here is where you failed and here are the consequences,' nothing will change."
How many would be on board this train if they had to invest just 10% of their own wealth?
There is a project where we would be willing to put our money where out mouth is. A dam. Temperance Flat Dam is projected to cost $2-billion. We know how to build dams. Temperance Flat is the perfect place for a dam. We need the water. We are willing to pay. Probably less than 1% the cost of a bullet train most of the state doesn't want.
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