A report that warned of huge operating deficits for California’s bullet train was based on “the wrong numbers,” an official of the state High-Speed Rail Authority claims.
Rail board member Mike Rossi told a legislative hearing this week that incorrect data undergirds a downbeat analysis of the bullet train’s finances published recently by four Peninsula-based financial experts.
Their report, which predicts that if built, the bullet train will need multimillion-dollar subsidies “forever,” was the subject of a story earlier this week by California Watch.
Rossi, a former Bank of America executive and an adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown, contended that the experts’ analysis was flawed because it had relied on incorrect data published by a foundation associated with the Spanish banking group BBVA.
The errors concerned operating costs for European bullet trains, Rossi contended.
“The problem is, they picked up the wrong numbers,” Rossi told members of the Assembly Transportation Committee.
“The numbers they are showing for operating expenses are actually capital acquisition costs, so the data ... just isn’t right.”
Of the Peninsula experts, Rossi said, “It wasn’t their fault; it was the compilation of the Spanish authors.”