How many high-speed rail fares to break even? The idea for fare pricing is to be competitive with the airlines.
The estimated total cost of the system is $68 billion. Divide that by the approximate round trip cost of $125 from SFO to LAX. It will take 544 million round-trip fares to break even. That is more than the total 2014 population of the U.S. (322,583,006) and Canada (35,540,400) combined (358,123,406).
Will there be baggage check-in and claim? Rental cars available for us at the station? What is the cost of security on the train and all of those hundreds of miles of track? We do live in dangerous times. This also does not count maintenance costs. Passenger rail in America always needs government subsidies to keep afloat. Amtrak!
We are like children who do not know the difference between want and need. Children often exclaim, “I need that!”
All of this so Gov. Brown has his infrastructure legacy secured when he is gone? With all of the other things we need — water for one — why do we continue to think as Americans that we can have it all?