San Francisco, February 16, 2011- Californians For High Speed Rail (CA4HSR), a statewide grassroots coalition of high-speed rail (HSR) supporters, expressed its deep disappointment with Florida Governor Rick Scott’s decision to reject $2.4 billion in Federal funding for Florida’s high-speed rail project. The funds would have covered 90 percent of the costs of building a high-speed rail line between Orlando and Tampa. Private funding was also likely to cover the remaining funding for the project, requiring no state funding.
“Californians For High Speed Rail strongly supports the Florida HSR project because we believe that HSR construction in not one, but several of the nation’s largest regions will build political support for HSR. Our organization urges Governor Scott to reconsider his decision,” said Daniel Krause, Executive Director of Californians for High Speed Rail.
According to a report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the train could have provided up to $2.9 billion in economic benefits in the Orlando area alone, creating as many as 27,500 jobs. John Mica, Florida Representative and Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, declared Scott’s decision as “a huge setback for the state of Florida, our transportation, economic development, and important tourism industry.” Efforts are being made by Federal, State, and Municipal politicians to get Scott to reconsider his decision.
The Obama Administration has made it clear in a press release today that it will reallocate this money to another High Speed Rail project should Governor Scott stand by his decision.
“If Scott ultimately decides to stick with this fateful decision, which will surely harm Florida’s ability to compete economically in the future, Californians For High Speed Rail will work hard to bring as much of the rejected funds to the California project,” said Krause.
About Californians For High Speed Rail
Californians For High Speed Rail (CA4HSR) is a grassroots, statewide coalition of high speed rail supporters advocating for the high speed rail project approved by California voters in November 2008. Founded in 2005, we exist to educate, inform, and organize Californians about ways they can help make high speed rail a reality in the Golden State. Additionally, CA4HSR also encourages sustainable development of the high speed rail (HSR) system, promotes the building of HSR stations in city centers, transit-oriented developments, as well as developing/improving feeder transit systems. Visit us at: www.ca4hsr.org