California voters turn against state over $68.4 billion 'train to nowhere'

Published: Tuesday, June 5 2012 10:00 a.m. MDT

This undated file photo provided by the California High Speed Rail Authority shows an artist's rendering of a high-speed train traveling along the California coast. A new poll finds California voters are experiencing buyers' remorse over a proposed $68-billion bullet train project.

California High Speed Rail Authority, Associated Press

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The state of California is short the $54.9 billion needed to finish a 220 mph bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco, which has led many voters to oppose the project, according to the Telegraph.

The project is funded with $10 billion from bonds and $3.5 billion in stimulus money from the Obama administration.

Construction for around 300 miles of track line is planned to begin this year in Merced, Calif., a town in Central Valley with about 80,000 people, and stretch to northern Los Angeles, according to the Telegraph.

The state still needs to secure $54.9 billion in order to finish the project. Otherwise, the train will only connect minor cities and farming communities.

In response to the overwhelming costs and the state’s handling of the funds, voters in California are beginning to turn against the project.

Recent polls shows that nearly three-fifths of voters would oppose the project and any public borrowing associated with it if given another opportunity.

Nearly 70 percent of respondnents said they would “never or hardly ever” use the train if it ever did run between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

"The growing budget deficit is making Californians hesitant about spending so much money on a project like this one when they're seeing cuts to public education and law enforcement," Dan Schnur, director of the Unurh Institute of Politics, the group that conducted the poll, told the Telegraph.

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com

TWITTER: @joeyferguson

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