Commentary

California High Speed Rail Advertises…in Washington DC

Apparently, the California High-Speed Rail Authority doesn’t think enough people know about its good work, so it’s advertising in Washington, D.C. An advertisement running on WTOP.com, a DC area news channel, had a picture of a train with the words: “Together we can support California’s local economies and spur vibrant growth.” The ad then had a button readers could click to “sign up” and give them feedback because “we want to hear from you.”

WTOP, of course, doesn’t target the California market, focusing on readers in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

The federal government has provided funding to the CHSRA to the tune of $3.5 billion, including a reallocation of $300 million from other states last May. I guess they still don’t think Washington elected officials and policymakers are well enough informed about the good work they are doing at CHSRA.

For Reason Foundations somewhat less boosterish work on the California high-speed rail debacle, check out our policy reports and commentary here. Our now prophetic “due deligence” report (Policy Study 370) predicted the cost overruns and pointed out the fundamental flaws in the ridership forecasts and estimates back in 2008.

Samuel R. Staley, Ph.D. is a senior research fellow at Reason Foundation and managing director of the DeVoe L. Moore Center at Florida State University in Tallahassee where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in urban planning, regulation, and urban economics. Prior to joining Florida State, Staley was director of urban growth and land-use policy for Reason Foundation where he helped establish its urban policy program in 1997.