More than a decade after it was approved by voters, the governor of California appeared to announce Tuesday that the state will abandon its effort to build a bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
“The current project as planned will cost too much, will take too long, there has been too little oversight and not enough transparency,” Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in his first state of the state address before a joint session of the California legislature.
Instead, Newsom said the state will complete the 160-mile leg connecting Merced, Fresno and Bakersfield in the California Central Valley, where construction is already underway. Newsom argued that completing the segment would “unlock the enormous potential of the Central Valley.”
Newsom added that critics calling the truncated project “a train to nowhere” was “offensive” to valley residents who must deal with some of the worst air pollution in the state.
The governor also said failure to complete the segment would require the state to return $3 billion to the federal government.
“I have no interest in sending back three and a half-billion dollars in federal funding… back to Donald Trump,” Newsom said.