Your report on the continued creep of the high-speed rail project stimulates me to make sure these points are considered:
First, put yourself in the position of the fictional 50,000 business people who commute between Houston and Dallas. You will drive to the terminal (1/2 hour), you will park your car and pay the fee (1/4 hour), You will walk to the terminal and wait for the train (1/2 hour), you will ride for what they claim will be 90 minutes (1 ½ ours), you will exit the train station, find and pay for transportation to your destination in the urban sprawl of DFW (l/2 to 1 hour). If you have more than one place to visit, this will even further compound and prolong this rigorous trip. Does all this extra time, expense and inconvenience sound like good business to you, particularly in light of autonomous electric vehicles due to arrive before the train’s target date?
Second, the 12 billion dollar price tag supposedly paid for by private investment will undoubtedly encounter cost overruns by the target date of 2026. Count on the developers protecting their interests in this too-big-to-fail project. So who will step up to cover the tab? We the taxpayers, of course. Keep in mind that there is no high-speed passenger rail anywhere in the world operating without government subsidy. Remember also that tax-and-spend California has abandoned their high-speed rail fantasy.
Third, in this world of exploding technology whatever features the train has now will be predictably obsolete by 2026.
Fourth, privately owned land is to be confiscated and cut up in a thinly disguised real estate grab. These are the lands that allowed Stephen F. Austin to attract settlers here, the lands that Sam Houston paid to his freedom fighters, the lands that form the bedrock of Texas devotion to private ownership and private enterprise.
In my 40 years of working in New Jersey before fleeing to beautiful Huntsville, year after year I watched new spending projects and new bond issues, each one seeming plausible and commendable at the time. But the bottom line is inevitable…high taxes that choke businesses and a bloated government with an appetite for spending. I am also well aware of Amtrak’s so-called high speed ACELA service to the northeast corridor. It has proved to be an obscenely expensive money pit fraught with delays and accidents.
To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, our Texas is a haven of personal freedom and prosperity … if we can keep it.