Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A potential positive NPV earmark?

I was in San Diego this morning to moderate a ULI panel on (what else) the financial crisis. The panelists (Don Ankeny, Westcore Properties LLC, Rajiv Patel, Spear Street Capital and Sean Flannery, Wells Fargo) were excellent, and while the mood was generally pessimistic, I think everyone agreed the policy is moving in the right direction.

But this post is not about that. It is rather about the Surfliner, the train that runs from Los Angeles (actually San Louis Obisbo) to San Diego. The scenery along the Pacific Ocean is very beautiful, but the train is sloooooow. The tracks have lots of curves, and are largely laid on wooden, rather than concrete, ties. Despite the slow speed (2 hours 50 minutes from LA to San Diego), it was full.

As we search for infrastructure investment to stimulate the economy, it strikes me that upgrading this route might work as an investment--it certainly makes more sense to me than a bullet train from LA to San Francisco. But I am not exactly a disinterested party on the matter...

2 comments:

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