Promoting passenger trains as a transportation alternative in Florida since 1983.  We are citizens who advocate for Amtrak, commuter rail, intercity rail and transit for Florida's future.

Governor Rick Scott's Decision On High Speed Rail Impacts Us All

17 Feb 2011 10:09 AM | Jackson McQuigg (Administrator)

The Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers, which endorsed Florida's high speed rail project, is in extreme disagreement with Governor Rick Scott's decision to effectively terminate Florida's high speed rail project.

Not only does it kill off a project which would have brought attention, infrastructure improvements, and jobs to Florida, Governor Scott's decision sets a very negative tone for future passenger rail projects in our state.

Governor Scott's letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood about the refusal of Federal dollars for high speed rail can be found at his website here. The letter is filled with flawed logic about passenger rail programs in general.

Going forward, where do the Federal grants set aside for Florida go? Could they be reprogrammed for other passenger rail projects in Florida?

Let's be clear. Not a chance.

In the first place, that is not how the Federal high speed rail grants program works.

In the second place, given comments Governor Scott has made about Tri-Rail, Amtrak, and SunRail, his freezing of state funds for SunRail, as well as his latest decision regarding the high speed rail program, it should be very clear what Rick Scott's stance on passenger rail projects will be in the future.

Rail advocates should be concerned-- and prepared to fight for passenger rail improvements as never before.

--Jackson McQuigg


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