America 2050: Florida Shouldn’t Have Shut Down HSR, BUT Let’s Move On

Posted by Content Coordinator on Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Excerpted from an America 2050 press release:

“Today Florida Governor Rick Scott announced the state would turn away $2.4 billion in federal funding for a long-planned Tampa-to-Orlando high speed rail line. In doing so he gives up hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment and an immediate plan to create thousands of construction jobs, boost Florida’s tourism economy, and create capacity for economic growth.  It is difficult to understand how this short-sighted decision will help rebuild Florida’s economy.”
-Petra Todorovich, Director, America 2050

In his comments today Governor Scott makes a false argument saying ridership potential on the Tampa-to-Orlando route does not exist because projections are the same as the most heavily travelled market in the nation – Amtrak’s Acela service, which attracts 3.2 million riders annually.  It is highly relevant and important to note that Amtrak’s Acela service runs at capacity.  Amtrak’s total ridership on the corridor (Acela and Regional combined) is over 12 million per year. Additional ridership is constrained by congestion from commuter trains, which comprise 250 million passengers a year on the same rail corridor stretching from Boston to Washington, D.C.

America 2050 looks forward to working with federal officials in identifying where the job-growth federal monies can go.  While Florida’s route was most feasible and ready-to-go, investment in many other corridors, including those in the Midwest, California and Northeast, will underpin long-term economic growth and success

Florida Governor Rick Scott

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