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Desert Express sings deal that could link L.A. and Las Vegas
Desert Express sings deal that could link L.A. and Las Vegas

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AIR DATE: June 14, 2012

The Desert Express project has for years touted a plan to bring travelers to Las Vegas via high speed rail. Developers envisioned L.A. tourists driving 90 minutes to Victorville, CA, parking and hopping the train for the rest of the journey and vice versa. The problem, many critics thought, was that travelers wouldn't want to ditch their cars if Las Vegas was so close. But now Desert Express executives have agreed on a deal to build link that would connect the Desert Express to California's high speed rail project that is currently under development. We talk with an executive from Desert Express about the project and their plans to bring high speed rail to Las Vegas.
 
GUEST
Andrew Mack, COO, Desert Express
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    COMMENTS:
    The obvious measure of whether this is viable or not is whether it can be done 100% with private investment covering *all* costs. Remember, investors voluntarily risking the loss of *their* money on a boondoggle is legitimate, while some bureaucrat risking *my* money on it is not. Of course, this train is *not* viable by a long shot. Average tax subsidies to "public" buses is on the order of $20 for each dollar collected in fares, and light-rail subsidies are about $45; so I'd expect similar hidden inefficiencies in this project. Bottom line, the government idiots who want to fund this project need to note the obvious economic truth: if it was viable, private capital would have already built it!
    Tim HuntJun 13, 2012 13:03:52 PM
    If the "obvious measure of whether this is viable" really were to be what the reader states (private investment covering all costs), then NO major transportation projects anywhere in the country would be deemed "viable". For example, planning, design, construction, and maintenance of all federal, state, and local highways are subsidized by a very wide range of taxes at virtually all levels of government. Nonetheless, as to DesertXpress, it will serve what may be the only high speed rail corridor in the country, and perhaps the world, where the "viability" test is highly likely to be met -- according to highly comprehensive and independent financial and ridership forecasting work completed by the world's leading firms that undertake such projects in many countries throughout the world.
    T StoneJun 15, 2012 13:17:40 PM
    Don't know where Palmdale is, but I'm very interested in this project. It's a long drive through the desert for Las Vegans to get to Ikea in West Covina - would this train get us there? What would we do when we get to LA if we want to go to Santa Monica, Sunset Blvd, Beverly Hills, etc? Will there be links to public transportation to get us to those places?
    Stephanie CookJun 12, 2012 10:08:01 AM
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