The Florida state Supreme Court released its response to a lawsuit filed eariler in the week alleging Governor Rick Scott exceeded his authority in rejecting high speed rail money. The ruling states:
The Court has reviewed the petition, response, and reply, has heard oral argument, and has considered the factual allegations and legal arguments. Based on the limited record before the Court and a review of the federal and state law relied on by the parties, the Court has determined that the petitioners have not clearly demonstrated entitlement to …. relief. Accordingly, the emergency petition is hereby denied.
Too bad. Ray LaHood quickly responded by saying “I know that states across America are enthusiastic about receiving additional support to help bring America’s high-speed rail network to life and deliver all its economic benefits to their citizens.” No kidding.
Earlier in the day governor Rick Scott used ongoing state funding of Tri-Rail as an example of why HSR would leave the state on the hook for ongoing mantinenance of the system once built. Kudos to Politifact for calling bullshit on this one.
If Scott were on a crusade to end public subsidies for all forms of transportation, that would be one thing. Transportation systems —including roads, buses, ports and trains — more than not require government help.
But Scott is trying to isolate the problem to trains when citing Tri-Rail’s revenue problems as a reason for nixing high-speed rail in Florida. It may be a convenient talking point, but the two systems are hardly alike. In the end, high-speed fail might fail and the projections for ridership might be too rosy. But people shouldn’t use Tri-Rail as evidence any more than they should cite any other form of mass transit. We rate this claim Barely True.
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