As you may recall, William Grindley, World Bank “expert” and Penninsula NIMBY, issued a scathing report claiming California’s high-speed rail would require large operating subsidies. The basis for his claim was a paper published by Spanish Banking Group BBVA , which included a table showing operating costs as high as $.40 per passenger mile.
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.
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.”
The World Bank is notorious for funding megaprojects of little of benefit, except to the multinationals that build them. Their dam projects have caused immense ecological damage and displaced villagers. Their highway construction schemes are exporting American-style sprawl to the developing world. Now granted, I have no idea what Grindley did for the World Bank, but as a general rule of thumb: when a World Bank Executive gives “expert” advice on transportation infrastructure, best thing to do is Run Away!