California residents are getting (another) lesson in government incompetence, after the Los Angeles Daily News revealed that a bullet train designed to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco (a distance of around 400 miles) is now four years behind schedule and $13 billion over budget — and it's just getting started.
According to the report, the train is now expected to cost California taxpayers $77 billion — and counting — and won't be finished until 2033.
At the moment, they're struggling with just the first 100 miles of tracks, meant to bridge the middle section of the journey, from Madiera south to Bakersfield. That project — which is the first and most direct part of the system — is itself $10.6 billion over budget and years behind schedule because California planners couldn't foresee that landowners would demand top dollar to transfer their land to state government (or that they might have to sue to take the land).
California has secured some federal funds for the project, but they're going to need California taxpayers to foot a larger share of the bill. When they first proposed the train, they suggested they'd only need around $50 million from Californians to provide them with the bullet train.
That was, as the paper seems to indicate, a major mistake.
As for whether even some Californians will be able to use the train to get around, well, the first leg of the journey, and a smaller, localized train that serves the Bay Area will be ready around 2029.
Shockingly, according to the report, the multi-billion-dollar boondoggle hasn't stopped California's state government from plotting more bullet trains. And, of course, there's still a bullet train project in the works connecting Los Angeles to Las Vegas, though that project stalled after Sen. Harry Reid left office.