Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison and Tesla CEO Elon Musk are on the same page when it comes to California’s $77 billion high-speed rail project. Now so is the state’s new governor, Gavin Newsom, who said during his State of the State address on Tuesday, that the proposal would “cost too much” and “take too long.”
Speaking to FOX Business last October, Ellison blasted the project from all ends.
“Trains leave when you don’t want to leave, from a place you don’t want to leave from, and take you to a place you don’t want to go to, at a time you don’t want to get there, and then you have to get into a car and go wherever you’re going. It is a crazy system,” said Ellison during an exclusive interview with Maria Bartiromo on "Mornings with Maria" on Thursday. Ellison, who said he hasn’t spoken to Musk about the train, noted that their views are in-line.
Musk, through his Boring Company, is working on his own high-speed tunnel in Los Angeles to improve and make travel cheaper. It is expected to be open Dec. 10, according to a tweet.
The high-speed rail project in California began in 2008 when voters approved Proposition 1A, issuing a $9.95 billion down payment on what was then a $33 billion project.
Proponents of the system claim that it will get people out of their cars and to places faster, but in Ellison’s opinion “robot cars” are the future.
“People are going to be in electric cars that autonomously take them from San Francisco to L.A. at a tiny fraction of the cost.” he said. “Leave when they want to leave, arrive when they want to arrive, leave from where they want to leave from, arrive when they want to get there. This technology will make that train one of the great embarrassments in the history of governance of California” he warned.
Ellison also said he had a conversation with Gov. Jerry Brown and President Clinton to share his concerns.
Even so, Ellison isn’t trashing the train itself per se, but in his opinion making electric cars is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
“The cost of building the train is astronomical. The environmental damage of building the train is astronomical,” he said. “You’re so much better just by using environmentally-friendly electric vans autonomously driven to take you from San Francisco to L.A. If that’s what you want to do, that’s the way to do it.”
If completed by 2033, the trains will run between San Francisco and Los Angeles and are expected to transport more than 120,000 riders per day, at speeds of up to 200 mph.
Tesla and Gov. Jerry Brown’s office did not respond to FOX Business’ request for comment at the time of publication.
This article was updated from its original publish date on October 25, 2018.