When I heard the news yesterday that Governor Rick Scott rejected the high speed rail I was not surprised. Governor Scott is known for its cost cutting measures as we Floridians have witnessed recently as he announced the Budget. Reactions of outraged politicians calling it a premature decision were heard from Orlando to Lakeland and from Tampa to Tallahassee.
The phase I 84 mile high speed rail route with its initial construction between Orlando International Airport and downtown Tampa with a stop in Lakeland FL was projected to cost about $2.7 billion. Governor Scott said “The truth is that this project would be far too costly to taxpayers and I believe the risk far outweighs the benefits.”
The benefit of a high speed rail system is greatly appreciated in European countries, such as United Kingdom, Spain, France and Germany because of its congested highways and high gas prices and it’s funding came from the the government. It’s about connectivity and quality of life. In short term it would create jobs with its rail construction that will stimulate the economy and certainly help the housing crisis in Lakeland and cities throughout Polk County. While everyone understands the price tag is steep and both sides of the high speed rail debate have worthwhile points, however, to me the benefits would far outweigh the risk as I look at the big picture – the infrastructure – 20 or 40 years from now.
With the history of on and off high speed rail, was it doomed?
Is America ready for high speed rail because we are so ready to jump in our cars and drive?
Is the economy to blame?
Check out what Lakeland Local blogger Billy Townsend had to say about the Governor’s rejection as he tackled on another subject: Sunrail/CSX .
Lakeland FL Mayor Gow Fields reaction to the rejection of the High Speed Rail Funds
now that Govoner Scott has been voted into office and known his past on how to secure money fraudgently from medicare i hope all u people that voted for him are happy now…Bill McCullin warned every body or tried n no one would listen…..well u got what u got for the next 4 years so live with it….
It appears that politics aside. That when the issue of other high speed rail systems are used as examples, both in this country and overseas. That they properly be used as examples and not props. Just how does the proposed central florida high speed rail line, compare with those successful and unsuccessful lines found elsewhere. Does our state transportation needs compare with the infrastructure and social cultures of those successful high speed rail lines found elsewhere? Just how much debt will the state of Florida incurred during the initial construction? How many years are truly expected before the rail line is self sufficent with ridership, that subsidizing out of our depleted state funds can be ended? Just how much money / debt are the anticpated shortfalls expected to be during those years of subsidized funding out of state funds? If past examples of federal, state and city proposals are any guide. Whatever figure is given by these so called experts, it would seem reasonable that those figures should allow for a multiplier factor to be included. Which can then actually predict with some accuracy, what those costs will likely be. Because ultimately, the money spent beyond the initial federal seed money, is ours, and our children.
HE DID THE RIGHT THING TO REJECT THE RAIL SYSTEM..
IT WOULD BE A GREAT BURDEN ON THE TAXPAYERS OF FLORIDA.