NCRA Board Member Says Railroad Plan Unfair to Taxpayers

“The prime example of these shortcomings is the lease that NCRA agreed to in 2006 with a new train operating company, NWP. The lease was not fully presented to the public. A press release simply called it “a five-year contract” to operate trains from Eureka to Novato. The release failed to state that while the initial term was five years, NWP has a unilateral option to extend the lease for up to 99 years without meaningful NCRA oversight. Other egregious provisions include the paucity of payments by NWP and the need for NCRA to obtain many hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to rehabilitate the line. Incredibly, there has been no analysis as to whether the lease is fiscally prudent.”

“The fees that may be paid by NWP to NCRA are indeterminate, but are certainly far, far less than the public funds needed to rehabilitate the line.”


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