So You Don’t Want High Speed Rail, Florida? We’ll Take that $
As I made plans to travel to France, and shoot down to Bordeaux from Paris on the grand TGV high speed train, I read with interest about Florida’s rejection of the federal billions to build a high speed rail line from Orlando to Tampa. Governor Rick Scott, a former CEO, said no to the funds, concerned that his state would have to pick up the extra costs a few years down the road.
But many Floridian’s are comparing Scott’s rejection as eating seed corn, since the money won’t go to paying for the deficit, instead, it will be given to the hungry governors of New York and other states, where they realize that such an investment is bigger than the cost in today’s dollars. The reaction to Scott’s rejection of the rail money was swift…’Hey, we’ll take it!”
It’s not entirely clear whether the Florida governor is even correct in assuming that Florida will have to fork over $3 billion in the future. The state has already spent $66 million on the line, which is wasted without the federal piece.
High speed rail in the US is shaping up to be a case of it will thrive in some states, and wither and die in others. The Northeast corridor will definitely get more and more funds as Republican governors like Scott Walker of Wisconsin, say no to something that most people in this country have been dreaming about for decades.