2.2 Major Reports - 2018 Plan

In March, 2018, the California High Speed Rail Authority released the Draft version of their 2018 Business Plan, and its supporting documents.  A Public Comment period followed, with the Final version being adopted in June 2018.

During the Public Comment period three documents were submitted to the Authority.  A review of the Final version of the Business Plan showed no evidence of any changes that were incorporated into the Business Plan which were related to the issues raised in these three Comment documents.

These three documents are available in the three folders on this page.  They are:

1.   “First Construction Segment’s ‘Plan B’ and a Public Safety Audit Request”, April 27, 2018 – A Utilization Plan was published in October 2016 by the Authority.  It analyzed alternatives to put the tracks being constructed in the Central Valley to use, if funding for the San Jose to Central Valley is insufficient.  None of these alternatives were incorporated in the Draft Business Plan.  In addition, there is a Public Safety Matter associated with one of these alternatives which needed attention.

2.  “Analysis of Amtrak 2017 Data and HSR Projections on O & M Costs”, April 30, 2018 – The Authority continues to fail to produce any comparison and analysis of their projected Operation and Maintenance costs with the HSR systems around the world, or the Amtrak Acela system in the Northeast Corridor.  This Comment shows that the CHSRA is planning to produce revenue on a per passenger mile, and seat mile, basis that is in the range of Acela’s operating and maintenance costs.  If the CHSRA’a costs actually turn out to be in the range of Acela’s costs, their revenues may be insufficient to avoid the need for an operating subsidy.

3.  “The Mismanagement of Capacity on the San Francisco to San Jose Rail Corridor”, May 2, 2018 – The Draft Business Plan failed to mention that the current agreements in place are for the CHSRA to take 40% of the capacity of the Rail Corridor, which is under construction and electrification.  This means the Caltrain commuter capacity will be no more in the 2030’s than it is today, and today Caltrain has insufficient capacity.

Between October 2018 and January 2019, an extensive analysis of the ability of the CHSRA to capture riders, away from Autos and Airplanes, was completed.  Based on comparisons of Total Travel Times and Total Travel Costs, between HSR, Autos and Air, the conclusion is reached that HSR, as planned by the Authority, is not competitive.  Therefore, their ability to take market share from Autos and Airplanes is a small fraction of what the Authority is promising.

This independent report, “If You Build It, They Will Not Come – The Sequel”, and all of its supporting documents, are available on the first of the following two Subpages, identified as “10/2018….”.

Between February 2019 and May 2019 as the CHSRA struggled to deal with rising construction costs, elongated construction schedules, and a lack of an identifiable long-term source of construction funding, the CHSRA released its SB1029 Project Update Report, “Project Update Report to the California State Legislature”, in May 2019.

This CHSRA document focus on completing the HSR system between Merced and Bakersfield and connecting to the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) in Merced to provide rail service to the Bay Area in the 2028 time period.

This CHSRA document has been analyzed following the same methods of comparisons of Total Travel Times and Total Travel Costs, between Autos, HSR, and now adding ACE. The same conclusion is reached, that HSR and ACE, as planned by the Authority, are not competitive vs autos. 

This independent paper, “If You Connect To ACE, They Still Will Not Come”, and all of its supporting documents, are available on the second of the following two Subpages, identified as “6/2019…..”.

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