Only 31% of California Voters Support Bullet Train as Cost Doubles to $77 Billion: Poll

An undated photo shows a viaduct for the California bullet train under construction in Fresno. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

An undated photo shows a viaduct for the California bullet train under construction in Fresno. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Californians still support the concept of a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco, but after months of troubling disclosures about the project’s cost and schedule, just 31% of voters across the state want to keep building it, according to a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

The survey confirmed what has been consistent in California public opinion for half a decade: The public has never abandoned its dream of a high-speed transportation system but rejects the rail authority’s performance in building it.

One of the project’s challenges revealed by the poll is a deep geographic divide. Bay Area voters, who would get the biggest and earliest benefits of the project, are its strongest supporters. A smaller majority support it in Los Angeles, while most respondents in San Diego and Orange counties are opposed. The Central Valley, which is seeing a construction industry employment boost but also suffering through widespread disruption, has the largest pool of opposition.

About 48% of the poll’s 835 respondents said that in general they strongly or somewhat support the project, while 43% oppose it. USC poll director Jill Darling said those are not strong numbers of support or opposition, given the poll’s margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.