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California Bullet Train Would Die if Voters Had Their Way

LA Weekly has been expressing doubts about California's proposed $100-billion-plus bullet train for a few years now. Although we got some criticism for it, it looks like a majority of you are starting to have the same second thoughts.

In fact, some of the highest resistance to the high-speed rail project that would run from L.A. to the Bay Area comes from Angelenos, according to new data released over the weekend by the USC Dornsife / Los Angeles Times Poll:

About 56 percent of would-be voters in L.A. County would say no to the train if allowed to vote on it again; 37 percent would be in favor. In San Francisco the train would win 47-45.

About 66 percent of Central Valley voters were opposed to the train, which would run through their farm region.

Statewide, if a re-vote on the train were allowed, 59 percent of would-be voters would say no; only 33 percent would give reaffirm it.

About 55 percent of statewide voters said they'd be down for a re-vote.

California already approved the train in 2008, voting to borrow $9 billion in seed money to get it started. The project has the support of President Obama and Gov. Jerry Brown, mainly as a pump-priming tool for jobs and economic stimulus, it seems.

But projected costs have ballooned to more than $100 billion, with a one-way trip from L.A. to San Francisco slated to cost $120.

The USC poll says a majority of you would rarely if ever use such a train:

Just one percent of voters said they would use the high-speed rail line between Southern California and the Bay Area to travel once a week. Four percent said they would use it monthly; 24 percent said they would use it several times a year; and 69 percent of Californians said they would use the high-speed rail line rarely or never.

The biggest problem for this train is timing -- California is facing another crushing budget deficit and a stalling economic recovery. Dan Schnur, director of the poll:

Californians aren't necessarily against the idea of high-speed rail. But they don't want to spend all that money right now, and they don't trust the state to make the trains run on time.

Sort of like we said.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]