It doesn't appear the mandate "that the bullet train's revenues cover operating expenses" can be met.
12/15/11, "Bullet train's travel-time mandate adds to ballooning of costs," LA Times,
"The ballot measure for the project required that the L.A.-to-San Francisco trip take no more than two hours, 40 minutes. Achieving that would mean building more viaducts and tunnels, which are costly."
"In the fine print of a 2008 voter-approved measure funding the project was a little-noticed requirement that trains be able to rocket from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to San Francisco in no more than two hours and 40 minutes.
It was an aggressive goal, requiring cutting-edge technology, and was originally intended to protect the sanctity of the bullet train concept from political compromise. Whether the California High Speed Rail Authority can meet such a schedule is far from certain. Even some backers of the project now say it was a mistake to lock in the strict requirement....
The need for speed is driving a number of environmentally difficult and extremely expensive design choices, contributing to the doubling of the project's cost to $98.5 billion. Pricey tunnels and viaducts would enable the train to run up to 220 mph, faster than most high-speed trains travel in Europe and Asia.In addition to raising construction outlays, such velocity would increase electricity use sharply, working against another mandate, that the bullet train's revenues cover operating expenses. Costs of the project are expected to come under scrutiny Thursday at a Washington hearing held by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee."...