Gov. John Kasich's decision to decline federal funds for developing high-speed rail seemed like a prudent move at the time, and now looks even better.
One of his first acts after being elected governor was to nix plans for high-speed rail between Cincinnati and Cleveland, and ask that the $400 million in stimulus funds instead be used to improve and maintain existing transportaion infrastructure in the state.
The U.S. Department of Transportation, however, redirected the money to states participating in the high-speed rail experiment. One such state is California.
The extra money won't be enough.
Back in 2009, the cost for the initial stretch of high-speed track in California was estimated at $7.1 billion. Now, the cost is expected to be $2.9 billion to $6.8 billion higher.
And that's for what is expected to be the stretch that would cost the least to develop. Thankfully, it appears California taxpayers will have to foot that bill and not the federal government. Of course, voters in the Golden State may yet opt to pull funding from the project.
Kasich was right: Ohio needs to focus on taking care of its existing transportation network. Let californians show the nation how adding another transportation system will be a costly mistake.