Thursday, June 12, 2008

We Got Fleeced by the Sprinter!

13th Annual Golden Watchdog & Golden Fleece Awards

GRAND GOLDEN FLEECE: North County Transit District - Sprinter

Planning for the Sprinter rail by the North County Transit District began in 1990, with an original estimated cost of $60 million. Hampered by a seemingly endless series of delays, fiscal problems and technical issues, the total cost of the Sprinter amounted to nearly half a billion dollars. Amazingly, after receiving a $160,000 fine for sediment pollution to surrounding water bodies, the Transit District was fined an additional $685,000 for repeatedly ignoring the same issue. Three different projected start dates for operations came and went because of faulty signal systems for traffic gates and the failure of an inspection by the California Public Utilities Commission. Faulty design problems delayed work even further, and the Transit District paid $12.2 million in a settlement with West Coast Rail Constructors for the resulting waiting period in addition to $18.1 million in change orders. And that's not all…the rail has failed to significantly reduce traffic on Highway 78; a trip on the Sprinter from Oceanside to Escondido takes longer than driving. Other Sprinter benefits include new traffic delays at train crossings and a lack of sufficient parking for riders at several stops. Even better, while intended to increase the overall use of public transit, many Sprinter passengers were previously Breeze bus riders whose routes were canceled upon completion of the rail.

* * *

“This milestone brings us one step closer to SPRINTER operations and realizing our ultimate dream of moving more people in and around North County,” said Jerome Stocks, NCTD Chair. “The SPRINTER vehicles are representative of the quality of this new transportation project for North County – they are well made, sleek, modern and efficient. I am pleased to have been part of such a great investment on the part of our community.” Stocks, a City of Encinitas Councilmember, also represents NCTD on the SANDAG Board of Directors. source

Encinitas Taxpayers Association Sprinter postings.

*Blogger's note-I kinda like the Sprinter, I think it looks neat.


  1. Would love to see Stocks’ picture and some stupid (patronizing, uninformed, condescending, self-aggrandizing, lying) quote of his each and every week following the city council meeting. You could even make it a "provide your own caption" heading weekly feature.

    No analysis, no commentary by you, J.P. – to avoid what Bob N. went through at his column. Just let Jerome Stocks be revealed for what he is, a pompous waste of skin (and taxpayers money).

    As we have learned from the last 8 years of corruption, repetition is key. We can (we must) get Stocks and the other 2 guys out at the next election. Let’s see his face and read his nonsense every week for the next 21 weeks. When City Council adjourns for the summer, we have the filmed archives. I am sure there are Leucadians who might be able to capture clips for YouTube videos of his worst (best?) examples.

    I know there are plenty of people who like to just mutter, whine and complain here – but we could harness a bit of that and add a bit of organization and find some really good alternatives to Jerome Stocks, loser.

    Oh, and I wouldn’t mind seeing and reading about how Teresa Barth has backed up her campaign promises with some really fine improvements – chief among them - Sunshine or transparency, the Shuttle being discussed (finally) and more.

  2. Reap what you sew

    That’s our financial genius at work.

    Stocks accomplishments:

    Original Budget $60,000,000

    Spent : $500,000,000.00

    Over budget 800%.

    Try the same thing with the library. Same results.

    Think of the Hall property:

    Original Estimate $60 million

    I bet the spent will be closer to


    Shear incompetence.

    Vote for someone with common sense in November.

    And the assumptions were all wrong. The ridership will continue to be low. There is very little demand for travel between Escondido to Oceanside.

    SANDAG should have built rail from Downtown up the I15 cooridor.

  3. That would be so wise, high speed rail built directly over I5. The only footprint difference would be footings - and the I5 road surface would have some protection from the elements for a longer life.

    I bet if the alternative was high speed above or bumper to bumper below, more and more would choose the smarter alternative.

    Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread, you make a great point through the numbers. Outrageous incompetence and Reap what you sow indeed.

  4. Roadside park bumJune 12, 2008 10:58 AM


  5. Anonymous 10:12 - the footprint would be much larger than you realize. Parking lots, elevators or ramps to get up to the train (that have to be handicap-accessible), restrooms - much more involved than elevated tracks and a train... It would be cheaper to have door-to-door limo service for each individual rider!

  6. The Hall property boondoogle is even worse than stated above. When the bonds were sold to buy the land, the cost to build the park was estimated to be less than $7 million. If the park is built for $60 million, that is over an 800% increase, eerily close to the Sprinter cost overrun.

    Only Jerome Stocks could pull off two financial disaster such as these. Competent management and planning were totally lacking. It's time for Jerome to go.

  7. Hall Park is a giant vacuum on the funding of the city .

    The Sprinter is a giant vacuum on transit funding. There will be no more rail lines in North County in our lifetime.

    Jerome will use the park and the sprinter as reasons he should be reelected.

  8. Today the city is giving depositions regarding the death of the teenager from San Dieguito Academy from last year and the lack of safe walking passage under the I-5 overpass. The city will pay out millions in this lawsuit. Why?? Because "We don't need no stinking infrastructure" that's why!!

  9. The City knew about the dangerous conditions of the underpasses -- that is why they were included in the Public Roads 1990 plan as needing "upgrading." Nothing gets done to improve road safety until someone dies, i.e., the roundabout on Santa Fe, the light controlled intersection on El Camino, now the "upgrading" of the Santa Fe underpass. Stocks, Dalager and Bond, and in her time, Guerin, put safety LAST and back patting projects FIRST. Bastards.

  10. Anon 4:34: Nothing gets done to improve road safety until someone dies.

    You give them too much credit. People die and still nothing gets done.

    Please bury the track.

  11. NCTD again shows their incompetence today as they refused to add sufficient buses to handle the homebound traffic from the US Open. With 40-50 people at each of the numerous stops from the Glider Port to the Lodge, buses streamed by with the "Bus Full" sign illuminated. Far from inconveniencing just the visitors, many regular commuters were ignored, particularly at Scripps Green Hospital.

    A customer service representative politely commented that the USGA failed to pay for additional buses. Hey, what is that farebox for?

  12. The City can forget about constructing the feel good Regional Park.

    Its been about a year since a death at Leucadia deathtrap railroad crossing....Sadly,Its about time for the next death.

    That crossing is so substandard and dangerous it’s a joke that it remains open. The City and NCTD will lose millions.

    The City has known about that deathtrap for 20 years, yet nothing gets done but talk about how they're working on it.

    I bet the next death there will trigger a huge lawsuit that will take the City $60,000,000 planned for the park.

    It’s only a matter of time. I bet it happens within the next year and I hope it’s no one I know.

    I think the City should close the crossing until it can be fixed.

  13. Close the crossing, until the tracks are buried.

    Bury the Tracks.

  14. Yep, that US OPEN is insane with people. My 7:30am bus that ususally runs every half hour to Oceanside was an hour late. Then to everyone's surprise, in Carlsbad everyone had to disembark and wait (an extra 20 min) for a different bus to complete the trip to O'side making me way too late for an appointment. (Awwwww). But even if they had more buses, they'd probably be just as late from sheer gridlock. Thanks Tiger.

  15. Fred- You da man....again!!!

  16. Close the death trap until they bury the tracks.

  17. Gimme a break, fred fan.

  18. Fred-

    Dont let them get under your skin.

    thats their intent.

    We love you and oppose those that dont.

  19. I am a big fan of Fred and his postings on this blog, I also enjoy his art creations, he has talent. BUT.... I will abide by his requests to give it a break, no harm intended.

    Fred Fan

  20. vote Stocks outJune 14, 2008 6:02 PM

    Couple of good letters to editor re Bob Nanninga's column from May 30th,in THIS WEEK's Coast News, yeah, Friday the 13th edition. They relate to Jerome Stocks' complaining letter last Friday, and the failures of NCTD, SANDAG and Stocks.

    Check it out. Vote Stocks OUT!

  21. Poor Jerome, he should have finished high school.

  22. They hired the guy who won second place in the golden fleece award, Ray Patchett, who spearheaded the 70 Million dollar Carlsbad golf corse debacle, to run the organization that won the grand fleece award for the sprinter.

    Throw in a sprinkle of Jerome Stocks and that's a hell of a recipe!

    Love those fiscal conservatives!


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