Wachs on Tempered Hopes for State’s High-Speed Rail Project

A Los Angeles Times article on prospects that California’s troubled high-speed rail project could find new life under a Biden administration cited Martin Wachs, professor emeritus of urban planning. The project, initially designed to connect Los Angeles and the Bay Area with trains running at 220 mph, has faced a massive funding shortfall and difficulty acquiring needed land, among other challenges. While President-elect Joe Biden is a self-professed train fanatic, an imminent federal bailout of the high-speed rail project is unlikely. “Prospects for some financial participation by the federal government are better than they were, but it is easy to overestimate them,” said Wachs, a lead researcher at the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA Luskin. “There could be a few billion dollars, but it would not eliminate the need for the state to put the project on a sound financial footing.”


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