NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – President Obama is pouring $13 billion into an ambitious high-speed rail project. Some say it will never make money. Some say it will. And still others say profit is not even the point.
Obama's plan is "to jump-start a potential world-class passenger rail" in 10 major corridors, linking cities within the Northeast, California, Florida and other regions with "bullet trains" that exceed 110 miles per hour. State governments are in the process of applying for the federal funds.
Sam Staley, director of urban growth and land-use policy at the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think-tank, said the project is risky, and that forecasts used to promote high-speed rail are "notoriously unreliable" because they "overestimate ridership and underestimate cost."
California, the nation's most heavily populated state, is undergoing the most ambitious project: high-speed rail system that would link San Diego to San Francisco and Sacramento.
Mehdi Morshed, executive director of the California High Speed Rail Authority, estimated that the San Francisco-to-Anaheim leg will cost $34 billion, nearly half of which would come from the federal government.