During his State of the State address, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Tuesday said his administration is putting a halt to the highly anticipated high-speed rail that would travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
"Let's be real. The current project, as planned, would cost too much and respectfully take too long. There's been too little oversight and not enough transparency," Newsom said during his first address.
The cost of building the train, at last estimate, was put at $77 billion and wouldn't be completed until 2033, the Associated Press reported.
While Newsom put a stop to train that would run throughout the state, he said he would allow the construction in the Central Valley, from Merced to Bakersfield, to continue. The main reason: if the project was canceled the state would have to return $3.5 billion from the federal government. He also said he believes the construction would help stimulate the Central Valley's economy.
The governor also decided to replace former Gov. Jerry Brown's head of the state board that overseas the project. Newsom said he would make sure the contractors who are responsible for building the project are held accountable, especially on the cost front.
According to the governor, the Golden State will soon have to make tough decisions on policies relating to clean water, housing and homelessness, all things that take a priority over the bullet train.
The decision to pull the plug on the project comes at a rather interesting time. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recently introduced her Green New Deal initiative and one of the key points was developing a high speed rail to where using airplanes was no longer necessary.
It will be interesting to see how Ocasio-Cortez reacts to the news and if she adjusts her policy, although it's rather unlikely.