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DeSaulnier Blasts High-Speed Rail Commission's Secrecy

Do you think bids to build the system's first 29-mile stretch should be public record?

Saying that the process is insufficiently transparent, State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) is criticizing the way state officials are evaluating five bids to build the first stretch of California’s high-speed rail system.

This week, developers vying to lay the initial 29 miles of track in the Central Valley will formally deliver their bids to Sacramento. However, the amounts will remain sealed and secret so evaluators can first weigh the proposals on their technical merits. De Saulnier doesn’t agree with that approach, according to the Bay Area News Group.

"The process is supposed to be transparent," DeSaulnier told BANG. "Once the bid is in, it's in the public domain, and the public needs to (be able to see) what the bids look like, especially on a project like this."

The whole project, the most expensive in California’s history, was approved by voters four years ago and is expected to cost almost $70 billion.

carrera January 17, 2013 at 11:25 PM
Oakland to LA is $24 each way (7 hr trip) on Megabus. I see plenty of people boarding the buses in Oakland outside the Bart station. So why build this Mega-Train when there is already a cheap alternative?
Nancy Dawson Dollard January 18, 2013 at 12:24 AM
We take frequent trips to San Diego and would take even more with high speed rail. If we took it south and then picked up AmTrak it would be a great ride. AmTrak from LA to SDO is a beautiful ride. Flying is no longer convenient, fun or cheap. In the six years I lived in PA I took the train at least once a year to Philadelphia, New York and Washington. I would have done it more if I had the money and time. It's great travel and a wonderful use of time. Read, sleep, walk around, use your laptop -- all nearly impossible to do now on jam packed planes with surly flight attendants.
CJ January 18, 2013 at 12:35 AM
Nancy- If there was the density the eastern seabord has here then your example would be valid. But we just don't have it here nor will we ever have it. The geography and best uses for the land will keep it relatively spread out. This thing is a poor alternative to plane travel. I cannot imagine skipping a 1.5 hr plane flight to SD for a 8+ hr. train ride with god knows how many stops. You really can't be serious?
Dan Buckles January 18, 2013 at 12:52 AM
They said the same thing about Bart, it will never work........and there it is. You really think California's economy and population are going to stay stagnant? What planet are you from? I guess you never drove from here to LA, or Las Vegas? Try it sometime and you'll see what I mean. I would prefer to get on a rail system and do the trip in comfort and when there rent a car. Oh, now, you're going to tell me take a plane and use all that fuel, pouting the atmosphere, as oil prices soar in the future, with ticket prices. The real root of the problem here is the banksters have finnacilized our economy so that no more money is going into the american economy to build industry, but the money is going to the BRICS instead, along with the American corporations who benefit from our tax dollars and consumers. I wouldn't be surprised to find out the real people against it are the airlines and oil companies........and they have ALEC, Business Round Table, and US Chamber of Communists to pay off the legislators to keep California from growing and creating new industries and jobs.
Concord Mike January 18, 2013 at 05:42 AM
This absurd project (the sponsors say) will not be completed until 2032. Knowing how government projects go, more likely 2040. How old will you be by then? Maybe your grandkids will get to ride it, if they can afford the expensive fare. A gross waste of money. I predict it will be cancelled sometime in the next 10 years and what was built will rust away in the central valley fog. Browns folly.

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