CALIFORNIA— The bullet train project started during Jerry Brown’s time as Governor. The project has been plagued with budget busting costs and killer delays. As of now, it is not completed. Former employee Mark Styles, who oversaw Central Valley scheduling, found out the hard way that he was screwed after he was hired. “A core problem was the project’s operating culture, in which managers for WSP, the bullet train’s lead consultant, threatened to punish or terminate employees if they failed to toe the company line,” Styles said. He also said, “I was told to shut up and not say anything,” and “I was told that I didn’t understand the political arena the project was in. I told them I am not going to shut up. This is my job.”
Two ex employees who worked in the Fresno office and left the operation back in 2019, Vera Lovejoy, an engineer and Todd Bilstein, a projects controls coordinator, “say they were also discouraged from sharing bad news with bosses,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Lovejoy “wanted the project to succeed” and “was eager to help deliver it.” Also according to the Los Angeles Times, Bilstein said,
“If I was to give a talk at a construction conference, I would say they were not following generally accepted project management principles,” he said. The company’s failures, he said, ran the gamut of estimating costs, scheduling construction and managing change orders.
“Revealing bad news was discouraged,” he added. “I just couldn’t continue to work there. I don’t work that way. American professionals don’t work that way.”
The Times reported,
“Brian Kelly, chief executive of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, said in a statement that the agency “takes seriously any claim of wrongdoing by an employee or contractor. We have procedures in place for any such claim to be raised and reviewed. We have an expectation that all employees act within the law and that our contractors meet the requirements of state and federal law.” He added in an interview, “Our focus is on the mission in front of us.”
It must really suck to have to pay for such incompetence! People were promised another form of transportation and the state of California has failed them miserably! Thank goodness President Trump demanded money be returned and pulled ‘nearly $929 million of funding from a federal grant’. The taxpayer’s of California deserve better, but as long as they vote for politicians who may not have their best interest in mind, they get what they deserve!