Put the following in the “I’ll be dead or too old to care” category.
Drivers will save $68 billion in fuel costs when the Obama Administration’s 54.5 miles-per-gallon standard is fully implemented in 2030, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The 54.5 mpg by 2025 standard, if finalized, would double today’s average fuel efficiency, saving drivers $4,400 over the life of the vehicle, the report shows. That’s if the goal is reached by 3030, and if the administration and NRDC scientists are correct in their assumptions.
Rarely do projects get done on time. And plans that make sweeping change – for better or worse – seem to take even longer.
I recall the construction of the Century Freeway, Interstate 105 in Southern California, and being a youth in the back seat of a car and the adult driver would point and say “Look there, that’s going to be a freeway someday.”
Planning on the 105 began in the 1960s. It opened in 1993.
Environmentalists, community opposition and earthquakes were among reasons given for the long completion time of a much needed highway that takes drivers from the transit stop for the Green Line to Los Angeles International Airport.
But similar arguments can be made for all projects. Speaking of the Green Line, planning for Los Angeles County’s Metrorail system began in the 1970s and it wasn’t until 1990 that the first line was in operation. And don’t expect the Green Line to be able to take you all the way to LAX until 2028.
While people in the L.A. area are now able to take advantage of the 105 and the Metro, I’m sure there were many area taxpaying residents who have long passed who would have liked to have been served by these transportation options.
California’s high speed rail is another dream that, when/if it comes to fruition, most people reading this will be long in the tooth – and then some. As a reporter in the desert northeast of L.A. I covered planning on the route expected to run from Francisco to L.A. That was in the late 1990s, and cost estimates of around $30 billion were being tossed out for an efficient and speedy magnetic levitation train. Despite voter approval of more a $9 billion-plus bond, the project is still being debated, and it’s one that would provide a more conventional and slower moving train than the maglev train under consideration early on.
In April the California High-Speed Rail Authority passed a revised business plan that will provide a high speed train “within a decade” at a cost of $68.4 billion. Unlikely on either count.
And I’ll be too old to care.