Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Florida rejects high-speed rail money

Let's hope that Governor Brown does the same. From the Anti-Planner:

It's dead again
Feb 16 2011

Florida Governor Rick Scott killed the Tampa-to-Orlando high-speed rail project, seven years after the state previously killed it once before. Scott cited three reasons for killing it: the potential for cost overruns, overly optimistic ridership projections, and the fact that, if the project turned out to be a dud and the state shut it down because it couldn’t afford to operate it, it would have to return the federal grants to the federal government.

Where does this leave Obama’s high-speed rail plan? On one hand, Immobility Secretary LaHood now has nearly $2.5 billion he can give to other states for high-speed rail. But with most of the freight railroads opposing moderate-speed rail on their tracks (the only major exception being Union Pacific in the Chicago-St. Louis corridor), projects that aim to share tracks with freight trains are going nowhere.

That leaves California, the only other state (besides Florida) that planned to build tracks exclusively for high-speed trains. Even if LaHood gives all $2.5 billion to California, that state will still have only about $10 billion in hand to build a project that will probably cost at least $65 billion.

With Republicans in the House seemingly dead set against spending any more federal dollars on high-speed rail, it seems likely that the program is dead.