Monday, March 26, 2012

The Democrats' train from nowhere

Here's the latest boondoggle from Barack Obama and Harry Reid - the proposal to loan money to a company linked to Harry Reid to build a bullet train that would go from the middle of the Majave Desert to Las Vegas.
On a dusty, rock-strewn expanse at the edge of the Mojave Desert, a company linked to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants to build a bullet train that would rocket tourists from the middle of nowhere to the gambling palaces of Las Vegas.

Privately held DesertXpress is on the verge of landing a $4.9 billion loan from the Obama administration to build the 150 mph train, which could be a lifeline for a region devastated by the housing crash or a crap shoot for taxpayers weary of Washington spending.

The vast park-and-ride project hinges on the untested idea that car-loving Californians will drive about 100 miles from the Los Angeles area, pull off busy Interstate 15 and board a train for the final leg to the famous Strip.
And will they really want to pay from $75 to $100 to leave their car in the desert instead of driving on for 200 miles the rest of the way to Las Vegas? And how much time would people really save by the time they park their car in Victorville in the desert, waiting for the train, then getting transportation from the train station in Las Vegas to their hotel? And they'd be in Las Vegas without a car?

It's just another example of how Obama and Reid think that they can do better than the private market in determining how money should be spent for transportation funds. Hey, why not spend taxpayer funds for such a boondoggle? And it's just icing on the cake that the investors in the company that wants to build the bullet train project have been big donors to Harry Reid.