Discussion related to commuter rail and transit operators in California past and present including Los Angeles Metrolink and Metro Subway and Light Rail, San Diego Coaster, Sprinter and MTS Trolley, Altamont Commuter Express (Stockton), Caltrain and MUNI (San Francisco), Sacramento RTD Light Rail, and others...

Moderator: lensovet

  by RandallW
 
eolesen wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 6:00 pm
lensovet wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 11:14 am And since when does the legislature have the authority to withhold this money? Apparently their latest request is to scrap electrification and use battery powered trains. What?
Are you seriously questioning their authority?

Civics 101 teaches you that the Legislature has the power of the purse, and halting or reining in an out of control project from spending money is one of those pesky checks and balances that exist for good cause.

Y'all howled when the previous Administration tried to shut off the spigot of Feddybucks, but that was done for the same exact reasons: this project has violated just about every commitment, covenant, deadline, and budgetary estimate made when it was first approved. They're in breach of contract. A responsible group of politicians would have shut this down four years ago.
The legislators of the State of California do not have the authority to shut down this project or really to withhold funding for it, as the Constitution of the State of California mandates its construction. Note also that when projects like this get delayed, the delay itself can ballon the cost of the project, and this one has been fought tooth and nail from the get go despite its legal imperative.
  by eolesen
 
RandallW wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 7:11 pm The legislators of the State of California do not have the authority to shut down this project or really to withhold funding for it, as the Constitution of the State of California mandates its construction.
Please, do tell us where the California Constitution mandates the high speed rail project. I've just skimmed all of the amendments from 2000 onward, and see nothing of the sort.
  by RandallW
 
eolesen wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 12:05 am
RandallW wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 7:11 pm The legislators of the State of California do not have the authority to shut down this project or really to withhold funding for it, as the Constitution of the State of California mandates its construction.
Please, do tell us where the California Constitution mandates the high speed rail project. I've just skimmed all of the amendments from 2000 onward, and see nothing of the sort.
Sorry; I got the process conflated with the result -- the referendum for Constitutional amendment in California is structurally the same as the referendum that led to section 2704 of the California Streets and Highway code being added to California law. From that section it is my understanding that construction of the high speed railroad in California is obligated by law.

It would be one thing for the legislature to amend section 2704, it is quite another to ignore it.
  by eolesen
 
2704 is simply Prop 1A added to the state code, allowing the sale of bonds up to $9B and directs how those funds can be distributed.

The Legislature can still kill the project as far as I can tell.

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  by west point
 
lensovet wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 11:14 am How would handing this over to a private company speed up utility relocation and land acquisition projects?
Utility relocations can be a very mixed bag. On a project I was working had a utility not wanting to do the work before scheduled time. guess what? Utility delayed us 8 months. Had a relocation the DOT needed immediately done for emergency. Know the utility relocation for one block of Atlanta streetcar took over 1 extra year due to some 14 different crossing. Utilities do not cooperate with each other with IMO attitude we are the best to determine how crossing will be implemented. No compromise~~~~!!!

Of course, Why not aerial instead of underground? So, the incident on the NEC is a good example of what will happen sooner or later.

Then you have the problem of PG&E very high voltages crossing that realigning a crossing. Nimbies will say why extra real estate outside of planned tracks or stations.
  by lensovet
 
eolesen wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 1:18 pm 2704 is simply Prop 1A added to the state code, allowing the sale of bonds up to $9B and directs how those funds can be distributed.

The Legislature can still kill the project as far as I can tell.

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And where in 1A does it say that legislature can randomly hold the funds hostage on a whim?

Last I checked in Civics 101, even the legislature is not above the law.
  by eolesen
 
The $9B from 1A appears to already have been spent... If Newsom is asking for 4.2B above and beyond the bond funding, Legislatures are always within their authority to say no.

When projects miss targets and go grossly over budget or the scheduled timeline, it's the legislature's obligation to fix it or shut it down.

CAHSRA has had 13 years to fix itself.

Time to tank it.
Last edited by eolesen on Sun May 15, 2022 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by RandallW
 
Do note that the $9B voted on was explicitly authorized only to pay for < 1/2 of the project. Which means if the legislature refuses other funding to complete the project they now have to find $9B to pay back bonds...or create another state authority to take over the project (which I am sure means a decade spent in court as people who want to prove the project would fail fight to make sure it does) while still needing to service that original debt.
  by eolesen
 
The flip side of your argument is that the legislature could simply choose to repay the $9B and not get any further into the hole.

CA is slowly realizing they're broke. If they don't have the $4.2B for stopgap funding where is the remaining $80B going to come to complete the project? Thus isn't a Gateway significance project in terms of national priorities.
  by HenryAlan
 
eolesen wrote: Sun May 15, 2022 8:57 am CA is slowly realizing they're broke.
LOL, they just announced a $95 billion surplus, they are not remotely broke.
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