The Fatally Flawed Centerpiece of California’s Transportation Future

California’s transportation future is bright. Northern California-based companies are pioneering self-driving cars that consolidate technologies from automakers, cell phone manufacturers, chip designers, PC makers, telecoms, and software companies. In Southern California, heavily funded consortiums experiment with everything from passenger drones to hyperloop technologies to hypersonic transports. It’s all happening here. It’s wondrous. Meanwhile, instead of preparing the roads for smart cars, or designing hubs that integrate buses and cars-on-demand with aerial drones and hyperloop systems, the centerpiece of California’s transportation future is a train that isn’t very fast, being built at what is probably the highest cost-per-mile in the history of transportation, which hardly anyone will ever ride.

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