Jerry Brown’s Bullet Train Cost Equals Eight Thousand Years Of Equivalent Air Flights

Posted: Mar 23, 2018 10:31 AM
Jerry Brown’s Bullet Train Cost Equals Eight Thousand Years Of Equivalent Air Flights

About that $77 billion dollar bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco… did anybody do the math?

I get it: politicians aren’t math majors.

So let’s do the math for them.

First, a little background.  The California bullet train will travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco. It is expected to be partially operational in the year 2019, going from San Francisco to Bakersfield.  The full system is expected to be ready by 2033. California governor Jerry Brown called it “a world-class train system under construction.”

Along the way, they are battling homeowners, business and farms that they want to level for the project.And then there are the mountains through which they must tunnel.  That alone ads somewhere between $26 billion and $45 billion to the project.Democrats in the state are committed, no matter.  They’ve yet to run out of other people’s money, so the spending continues.

The cost of environmental review alone is over a billion dollars.

Now, to the most interesting numbers.

$77 billion is now the low estimate for the overall cost.  It could get over $100 billion.  That’s politispeak for “it will certainly get to over $100 billion.”  But we’ll pretend, for the sake of argument, that $77 billion is, somehow, miraculously going to be accurate.

A round trip flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco is $97.  It takes one hour and 15 minutes.  The bullet train, on the other hand, will take at best 3 hours and 30 minutes.Not exactly the speed of a bullet which, at 2,500 feet per second on average, would get there in about 15 minutes.

Originally, they said the train would travel 220 miles per hour. But that number keeps getting revised downward.

But that’s not the math I’m concerned with.

It’s that $97 dollars per round trip ticket.  First, more numbers.

There are about 192,000 flights between the two cities per year.  That’s equivalent to 96,000 round trips.  

$77 billion dollars would buy you 793,814,433 round trip tickets, assuming you can’t swing a discount with that kind of volume.  That’s enough for 8,269 years of free flights two and from San Francisco for everybody who makes that journey by plane.  You go back 8,000 years and you pre-date Noah and the ark.  Wooly mammoths roamed the earth just 4,000 years ago.

Since $77 billion is such an absurd amount of money and mankind won’t likely survive another 8000 years, let’s, instead, fly high class and charter some jets.  Lots of jets.  At, say, $10,000 per person round trip, all those people can go to and from San Francisco in luxury.  For everyone to do that, the cost is $960,000,000 per year.  With $77 billion, you can do this for over 80 years.  An entire lifetime.

Heck, lets go crazy and see how long that $77 billion could pay for free flights all around the United States.

There are 87,000 flights per day.  That’s 31,755,000 flights per year.  At, say $400 average cost per round-trip flight, the total is $12,702,000,000 dollars.The money can cover every flight in the United States for nearly 13 years.

But all that $77 billion will do is slowly shuttle people to and from Los Angeles and San Francisco, with some stops along the way. It doesn’t even include some decent clam chowder when you get there.

Oh, but this is about environmentalism, you say?  Do you have any idea how many electric cars you can buy for $77 billion?

You can get a BMW i3 for about $43,000.   That’s 1.79 million brand new ones quietly humming on the road to San Francisco for $77 billion.

Realizing this is a cause greater than a mere trip up and down the west coast, let’s see if there’s a better use for that money.  A liberal one.  Something to get the far-left excited.

There are said to be some 114,000 homeless people in the state of California.  Some of them are families, so you can cluster many together.You could house them all in million dollar homes for that same $77 billion. Just like that, you’d have no homeless.  In fact, all of those homeless would now be net millionaires.

But let’s build a train instead.  A train to do what cars and planes already do.