February 22, 2011 > Letter to the editor: Florida's rejection disappoints Californians For High Speed Rail
Letter to the editor: Florida's rejection disappoints Californians For High Speed Rail
Californians For High Speed Rail (CA4HSR), a statewide grassroots coalition of high-speed rail (HSR) supporters, is disappointed with Florida Governor Rick Scott's decision to reject $2.4 billion in federal funding for Florida's high-speed rail project. The funds would have covered 90 percent of the costs of building a high-speed rail line between Orlando and Tampa. Private funding was also likely to cover the remainder of the project's funding, requiring no state funding.
We strongly support the Florida HSR project because we believe that HSR construction not in one but in several of the nation's largest regions will build political support for HSR. Our organization urges Governor Scott to reconsider his decision.
According to a report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the train could have provided up to $2.9 billion in economic benefits in the Orlando area alone, creating as many as 27,500 jobs. John Mica, Florida Representative and Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, declared Scott's decision "a huge setback for the state of Florida, our transportation, economic development and important tourism industry." Efforts are being made by federal, state, and municipal politicians to persuade Scott to reconsider his decision.
The Obama Administration made it clear on February 16, 2011, it will reallocate this money to another HSR project should Scott stand by his decision.
If Scott ultimately decides to stick with his fateful decision, which will surely harm Florida's ability to compete economically in the future, Californians For High Speed Rail will work hard to bring as much of the rejected funds to the California project as possible.
Californians for High Speed Rail