Field Poll: Voters turn against California high-speed rail

An artist's rendering of California's high speed rail.
An artist's rendering of California's high speed rail. California High Speed Rail Authority

Californians want a return ticket on their vote to OK selling billions of dollars in high-speed rail bonds, the latest Field Poll says.

Three years ago, voters approved selling $9 billion in bonds for a high-speed rail line that would eventually link L.A. and San Francisco. The vote in support of Proposition 1A was close — about 53 to 47 percent.

But today, the project is running far behind schedule, and far above cost estimates. The California High-Speed Rail Authority puts the cost at $100 billion — more than twice the original estimate. It was supposed to be done by 2020; now the completion date may be 2033.

That helps explain why the Field Poll reports about two-thirds of voters surveyed now say they'd vote against the rail bonds.

The Rail Authority's Rachel Wall says Californians might be wary of the project because of the uncertain economy. But she says killing it would erase the prospect of 100,000 new jobs.

The poll results surface on the same day some members of the House Transportation Committee urged Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to quit spending federal money on high-speed rail in California.

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