LaHood's Pitch To Florida: Go Forward With HSR

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wrote a major address to the nation in support of high speed rail that appeared in Florida's Orlando Sentinel. Streetsblog notes the significance of that paper in light of events in Wisconsin and Ohio.
December 26, 2010, 9am PST | Irvin Dawid
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Florida's 84-mile, high speed (168/mph) rail project connecting Tampa and Orlando should be the first HSR project completed in the nation by 2014, assuming Gov.-elect Rick Scott doesn't follow in his Republican Midwestern counterparts that have rejected $1.2 billion in HSR stimulus funds, of which $342 million was sent to Florida.

LaHood wrote: "Two governors-elect declined to move forward on projects that their predecessors initiated.
Florida is poised to become one of the first states with a true high-speed-rail line. And President Obama has committed to creating or improving 4,000 miles of track as part of his plan for America's next major six-year transportation legislation.

From DC Streetsblog: LaHood: High Speed Rail Will Be Our Generation's Legacy: "Why run the op-ed in the Sentinel and not a national paper like USA Today or the New York Times? LaHood's comments were pointedly directed at Florida Governor-elect Rick Scott, who is making noises about following his counterparts in Wisconsin and Ohio in rejecting federal high speed rail money. And the Sentinel is the paper of record in the 7th Congressional district, represented by incoming House Transportation Committee Chair John Mica."

From Orlando Sentinel: Rick Scott vs. high-speed rail: "Mr. Scott's continued parsing of the project - it's got to show a return on investment; it can't cost taxpayers, he says - is now imperiling it. State Department of Transportation officials who'll depend on Mr. Scott for their paychecks once he's governor have picked up on his dislike of the project and put off plans to solicit companies to prepare the Interstate-4 median for the high-speed trains."

Thanks to DC. Streetsblog

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Published on Sunday, December 19, 2010 in Orlando Sentinel
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