Posted by Martin Engel, a resident of the Menlo Park: Park Forest neighborhood, on Dec 7, 2010 at 1:42 pm
Sheyner has written a highly detailed review of the Peer Review Groupís report, released November 18, but only made public to us recently.
One might say that this is the fifth official critical assessment of the mismanagement of the CHSRA as it has moved from marketing a concept, to creating a reality. Through distortions mis- and dis-information, they were successful at marketing. But, now that reality has set in, their amateurism, self-serving politics and self-aggrandizement are in full display.
The peer review group indicates that all their criticism is meant to be constructive; that they wish the project to succeed.
I donít see how thatís possible. The main mission of the group is to review and critique the CHSRA business plan. Even after four or five years, from well before the í08 election until now, we have not seen an acceptable business plan.
One of the major elements, found severely wanting, is the ridership projection. Why are those so important?
The law, AB3034, requires a revenue surplus from the operation of the train. The train needs to be operational without any additional support of funding from the State or anyone else. The only way we can know if thatís possible is with ďinvestment gradeĒ ridership projections. If the rail authority cannot produce such honest numbers from independent sources, then they canít produce an honest business plan and without that, the project must be terminated before it wastes any more money.
It is the responsibility of the peer review group to ascertain the legitimacy of the business plan. So far, it doesnít look good for the rail authority and their endless number fudging.
The peer review group has the power to pull the plug. If they start stalling around about this, the ball is back in our court to do this for them with lawsuits. Letís see how this all plays out in 2011.