Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Could Florida HSR be De-railed?


We were sent this article from a local newspaper in a city that is within the proposed (1st segment) FL HSR line from Tampa to Orlando.  Florida's new Governor Rick Scott spokesman has quoted the following...




Florida has received $2 billion from the federal government ó 70 percent of the total cost ó to build a line from Orlando to Tampa. It is envisioned as an alternative for workers and tourists to the state's often snarled interstate system, promising, roaring along at 168 mph, to deliver them to their destinations in a fraction of the time.
But new Gov. Rick Scott as well as the state's leading transportation force in Congress, Rep. John Mica, are signaling that it is not too late to stop the project ó and that they may be the ones to do it.[...]

'However, he is opposed to investing in projects that have little or no return on investment to the state,' said Trey Stapleton, a spokesman for Scott. 'After looking at a final feasibility study on high-speed rail projects and determining what the state would be responsible for, he will assess the states funds and determine if there is adequate return on investment for the taxpayer's money.'

However, Florida has its hopes up, along with California (big winners in last years FRA funding awards) who are writing to the FRA and trying to pick-up what ever monies are sent back.  As other states who have won FRA monies some States like Wisconsin are considering sending the funds back.


In Wisconsin, Gov.-elect Scott Walker staked his campaign partly on a promise to kill a proposed high-speed rail line connecting Milwaukee and Madison, even though the state had already received $810 million from the federal government. Walker said future operating and maintenance costs are too much for his state's taxpayers.
And in Ohio, newly elected governor John Kasich has vowed to reject $400 million of federal funding to build a high-speed rail connection in central Ohio. Kasich said with trains expected to go just 50 mph in many stretches of Ohio, he fears riders won't have any incentive to get out of their cars to ride it.[...]
One of our readers who travels the I-4 corridor has also noticed an aggressive marketing campaign by Siemens with radio ads, local web banners, and even billboard ads with their HSR trains being the focus.

Keep Flying On The Ground! 
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