Public transportation projects like high speed rail are very bad deals for taxpayers.
Honolulu is set to construct an ambitious urban rail project. It’s a $5.125 billion behemoth that this metropolitan area with less than a million residents may not be able to afford....Critically, there is plenty of competition for the scarce dollars that Honolulu residents have to spare. The city’s basic infrastructure is in bad shape....Yet the city of Honolulu would tax its residents even more to pay for a 20 mile rail line to empty farmland well beyond the urban fringe....The city hopes to receive $1.55 billion from the federal government, with local residents left to pay a hefty 70 percent of the cost. This $3.575 billion local share would create the highest tax burden for any urban rail line ever built in the nation, at more than $10,000 per household. But residents should "thank their lucky stars" if that's all they have to pay, given the history of cost overruns on such projects around the world.
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