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Letter: High-speed rail doesn’t make financial sense

High-speed rail doesn’t
make financial sense
There are roughly 40 million people living in California. If the bullet train ends up costing $80 billion to build, that’s $2,000 per person. For a family of four, that’s $8,000.
If roundtrip airfare from San Francisco to Los Angeles costs $200, and the bullet train was half of that, it would take 20 trips to Los Angeles for every man, woman and child in California to break even.
But Bay Area residents take fewer than 8 million flying trips to Los Angeles per year. This works out to one trip every five years per person. So, those 20 half-price bullet train trips would take 100 years to amortize. And this assumes that everyone switched from plane to train.
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While only the San Francisco to Los Angeles route was used in this example, and the 8 million trips only addresses this itinerary, the numbers are still pretty compelling.
Barry Bronson
Saratoga

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