Multiply the 40,239 student figure for spring 2011 enrollment by 50, just assuming that high speed rail would have a life of fifty years.
They divide that by six, just assuming that the average student takes six years to get through college.
The result is 368,658 students. Let’s round down, assuming that the average student doesn’t take six years to get through college.
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Governor Pat Quinn is allocating $1.25 million in planning money.
The article says construction of a system that would allow 220 MPH bullet trains would cost tens of billions of dollars.
OK, let’s assume that its only three tens of billions of dollars.
What is $30 billion divided by 300,000.
It’s only $300 per student?
That’s assuming equipment is included in the $30 billion and no annual operating subsidy is required.
And assuming all the students will use the train to get to and from home.
Neither assumption is likely.
In the 1990′s, when I calculated how much it would cost in operating subsidies to keep Amtrak running to Macomb, it came out to over $2,000 per student.
I figure it would be as cheap to buy each student a car.
I’m betting a similar conclusion can be reached after the U of I study is completed.