California’s Dubious Megaprojects

By Edward Ring
It would be inaccurate to suggest that California’s state legislature can no longer think big. They can, and as such they are carrying on a tradition that two generations ago gave us the best universities in the world, expressways and freeways that helped catalyze a boom that lasted for decades, and the most remarkable system...

TAGS: California high speed rail

The Bullet Train Epitomizes Golden State Corruption

By Edward Ring
It sounded too good to be true, and it was. Travel from downtown San Francisco to downtown Los Angeles in two hours via high-speed rail. California voters in 2008 approved Proposition 1A, authorizing $9.95 billion in general obligation bonds to build this so-called “bullet train.” They were told not only that the total cost would...

TAGS: California High School Exit Examination, California high speed rail, California High-Speed Rail Authority, Edward Ring, high speed rail

California’s Transportation Future, Part One – The Fatally Flawed Centerpiece

By Edward Ring
California’s transportation future is bright. In every area of transportation innovation, California-based companies are leading the way. Consortiums of major global companies have offices throughout the San Francisco Bay area, pioneering self-driving cars that consolidate technologies from not just automakers, but cell phone manufacturers, chip designers, PC makers, telecoms, and software companies. In Southern California...

TAGS: California bullet train, California high speed rail

The horrible history of state contract awards

By Nicholas Umashev
California’s state contract award system combines the worst of two worlds, delivering significantly higher infrastructure costs and longer construction time. Since government contracts are typically awarded on a lowest-cost basis, construction companies often engage in dodgy practices to win contracts. The history of Tutor Perini demonstrates why a company’s history should be taken into account...

TAGS: California high speed rail

The unelected bureaucracies that keep us stuck in traffic

By Jackie Lavalleye
Inadequate roads are leaving Californians stuck in traffic. According to a 2016 study by Inrix, a data company that specializes in traffic-related analytics, Los Angeles, California has the worst traffic in the United States. San Francisco takes the number three spot, and San Diego comes in number 14. In all, 17 California cities rank among...

TAGS: California high speed rail, California infrastructure, traffic

Automation threatens dream of 450,000 unionized California High-Speed Rail jobs

By Kevin Dayton
It’s trendy for public intellectuals to warn that technological advancement may soon lead to the “end of work.” While some might scoff at this prophesy, it’s valid for certain occupations. Unions that represent workers in skilled trade occupations have seen the “end of jobs” for decades and certainly take the threat seriously. A noteworthy example...

TAGS: automation, California high speed rail, California High-Speed Rail Authority

California High-Speed Rail jobs: high hopes, harsh reality

By Kevin Dayton
Defenders of California High-Speed Rail often respond to critics by touting how the project provides high-paying jobs in the construction industry for disadvantaged residents of the San Joaquin Valley. It’s one thing to proclaim intentions, but another to achieve them. California High-Speed Rail Authority CEO Jeff Morales spoke about high-speed rail training and employment for...

TAGS: California high speed rail, California High-Speed Rail Authority