90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Tracking California’s High-Speed Rail

The high-speed rail debate in California. We’ll look at the cost and the payoff.

This image provided by the California High-Speed Rail Authority shows an artist's conception of a high-speed rail car in California. (AP/California High-Speed Rail Authority)

This image provided by the California High-Speed Rail Authority shows an artist's conception of a high-speed rail car in California. (AP/California High-Speed Rail Authority)

High-speed rail was at the center of Obama stimulus spending plans.  Visions of 21st century bullet trains whizzing here and there around the country.  One by one, states slated for the super trains have dropped out, afraid of getting left with white elephants.

But not California.

The Golden State is, so far, charging ahead.  Even as the price tag for its bullet train has soared from thirty four to $98 billion and completion dates have stretched out to 2033.  There’s a battle royal underway over the price tag and visions of the California future, the American future.

This hour, On Point:  high-speed rail and California.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Rod Diridon, executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University

Lisa Schweitzer, associate professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning, and Development

Alain Enthoven, professor emeritus of political economy at Stanford University

Amy Standen, reporter for KQED

From Tom’s Reading List

NPR “The dream of high speed rail in California is running into tough realities. Cost estimates have more than doubled — to nearly $100 billion — since the project was approved by voters in 2008. The date of completion has been pushed back to 2030.”

The New York Times “Across the country, the era of ambitious public works projects seems to be over. Governments are shelving or rejecting plans for highways, railroads and big buildings under the weight of collapsing revenues and voters’ resistance.”

Chicago Tribune “The governor wants to start with a line not from Los Angeles to San Diego or San Francisco to Sacramento, but from Bakersfield to Chowchilla — which would be the equivalent of running a bullet train between Decatur and Galesburg. With that 140-mile segment in place, he imagines, private investors, state taxpayers or the federal government will be happy to provide the money to construct the rest of an 800-mile system.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 21, 2014
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  (AP)

The president throws down the gauntlet on immigration. Bloodshed and new tensions in Israel. Keystone fails. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Nov 21, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American  writer and novelist, at age 27. Her "Little House" series is a beloved semi-autobiographical take on her childhood in the Western American plains. (South Dakota State Historical Society )

A big new look at the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the woman behind the Little House.

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 21, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder, an American  writer and novelist, at age 27. Her "Little House" series is a beloved semi-autobiographical take on her childhood in the Western American plains. (South Dakota State Historical Society )

A big new look at the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the woman behind the Little House.

 
Nov 21, 2014
President Barack Obama announces executive actions on immigration during a nationally televised address from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.  (AP)

The president throws down the gauntlet on immigration. Bloodshed and new tensions in Israel. Keystone fails. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: November 21, 2014
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We offer a panel of hand-drawn digital sheep, and wonder how to best lead the rest of you to programs that matter.

More »
2 Comments
 
The Explicast, Episode Five: What Is Net Neutrality?
Friday, Nov 14, 2014

The Explicast dives into tech policy territory with a quick look at the real meaning of a complicated bit of tech policy known as ‘Net Neutrality.’

More »
2 Comments