Florida In Running for High Speed, Not Likely To Receive Funding

Alfonso Chardy of the Miami Herald writes that Florida transportation officials are “reviewing interim guidelines issued by the Federal Railroad Administration with a view to applying for a share of $8 billion in federal stimulus money for high speed rail.” However according to Florida Today, the Sunshine State is not a likely candidate. Instead, California and the midwest are cited as front runners. California, remember, has already committed $10 billion of bond money in pursuit of  800 track miles, while the midwest boasts an impressive amount of interstate regional cooperation.

Since giving up on regional high speed rail 10 years ago, thanks Jeb Bush, Florida has done nothing to push the agenda. This will likely not favor the state as the feds decide how to allocate the stimulus cash. As proposed, the line would connect Miami, Orlando and Tampa, with a possible extension to Jacksonville.

12 Responses to “Florida In Running for High Speed, Not Likely To Receive Funding”

  1. 1 Felipe A

    That’s really too bad. A lot more money from the stimulus package should have been allocated to high speed rail. $8billion is nothing. Not nearly enough importance was given to rail. Investing in rail, means investing in our future. We need to begin planning our transportation grid with rail as our primary focus.

  2. 2 Steve

    likewise, this state should kick in some more money for its exsisting passenger rail service, Tri-Rail. with the gross funding inadequicies there, I am not suprised the feds don’t want to throw any transit money this way

  3. 3 Mike Lydon

    Indeed, Tri-Rail is in danger of losing its federal funding because it has violated its terms of agreement with the feds to operate a certain number of trains per day. So sad, as its ridership growth is the second fastest in the country.

  4. 4 Collin

    Oh Florida, get your act together. I went to an FDOT energy conference in which FDOT people repeatedly discussed the dangers of Greenhouse Gas, and how Florida is facing iminent peril, but offered no solutions, no funding, nothing. They just left it out there.
    You see stuff like this, get passed up by Florida and it makes you wonder how these people got to where they are. They are the goalies of progress.

  5. 5 Steve

    To be completely honest, I can’t say that I blame Florida… Bullet Trains are expensive to own and operate and we are in a horrible economic time right now. Only with the prospect of free money from the Federal Government have they decided to move forward with the proposals. With the state economy the way it is right now and how we are neglecting basic things such as Education, Tri-Rail, and other basic services, I really don’t see how we could fund a high speed rail corridor.

    Now that being said, in response to the above commenter, I feel FDOT is VERY green in how they operate currently! They build roads that nobody wants to use in underutilized parts of the state and then plant hundreds upon thousands of trees (multimillion dollar landscaping projects) next to these empty roads. The carbon emissions from projects like these are practically non-exsistant

  6. 6 Rog in Miami Gardens

    We are, in fact, in difficult economic times, but sometimes we’ve got to spend our way out of it. We won’t be in dire straits forever. Florida really needs to think long-term for change. When we get through this economic turmoil, the world is going to be a different place. More Americans are going to be driving smaller cars, purchasing smaller homes, and the 9 to 5 work schedule is going to become less valued. In other words, I don’t know if you guys sense it, but I get this feeling in the air that we, as Americans, are going to be looking at life, work and our world a lot differently. So, with that said, why do I get this eerie feeling that many in the Florida legislature haven’t picked up on that yet? It’s like Floridians want progress, but our very government is holding us that progress back. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a libertarian, but - lately - our Florida law makers have been missing the mark. They’re out of touch.

  7. 7 John

    There are many contradicting articles about the future allocation of high speed rail funds. I have seen many articles on the Associated Press which hint Florida as being a top runner in securing high speed rail funds. Therefore, I wouldn’t necessary take this article from the Herald as something definitive.

  8. 8 John

    For example, take a look at this article http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124179625738301017.html

  9. 9 Steve

    I tend to look at it from a standpoint of “if they aren’t putting money in themselves and haven’t for years, why would I want to put my money in?” I feel that our state does not stand a chance of getting any of those dollars unless we can pony up a few on our end. With the state government working the way they are right now, I can only see them funding it with money that is currently allocated (as little as it may be) towards Tri-Rail. While I can understand the justification for not putting state money into the pot, I really don’t think the Florida High Speed Rail projects will become a national priority until we can show that it is a state priority too.

  10. 10 Mike Lydon

    John, the negative article was not from the Herald, but a website called Florida Today. Indeed, we don’t know who will land the funds, but due to the lack of leg work, Florida does not seem likely to be successful in its bid. While some talk of the viability of spending on high speed rail during tough economic times, the decision to squash the program was made in the boom years. Had it been different, thousands upon thousands of Floridians could be moving about the state in a very different fashion today, helping to rebrand the state as forward thinking and not shortsighted.

  11. 11 Pat Lynch

    The Texas High Speed Rail Corp. board had a joint meeting with the National Intermodal Steering Committee last week in Little Rock. Trains for America has extensive coverage.

    One item of note is that one of the event’s principle organizers, David Dean of Dean International, listed Florida among four possible locations of a HSR demonstration project. He specifically excluded the Midwest High Speed Rail Association and included the Texas T-Bone.

    These two meetings generated plenty of material for your conversations. The link to this particular story is: http://tinyurl.com/l6z53l

    Pat Lynch

  12. 12 Andy Moore

    What about the defeat of the SunRail? That has to make Florida look unworthy for Federal dollars, doesn’t it? It says we don’t have a regional, cross-state consensus for the need of rail (of any kind, not just high speed).

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