7061 East Pleasant Valley Road, Independence, Ohio 44131 • (216) 241-2630 / Fax: (216) 241-6516

News and Issues
User Info

LaHood: Texas didn’t have its act together on high-speed rail funds

(The following story by Richard S. Dunham appeared on the Houston Chronicle website on February 3, 2010.)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood blamed Texas officials Wednesday for the state's failure to win federal aid for a high-speed rail system linking its major cities.

“If Texas had had its act together, it would have gotten some high-speed rail money,” the Obama administration Cabinet official told reporters.

Thirty-one states shared $8 billion in rail grants from the 2009 economic stimulus package last week. The only money Texas received was a $4 million grant for planning a project in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“We based our decision on where the money could be well-spent and jump-start opportunities around the country,” LaHood said.

Must have ‘act together'

“Unless a state or region has its act together, with (local) money, with a good plan that connects things, they're not going to be in the high-speed rail business,” he said.

Citing Florida as an example, LaHood said the Sunshine State presented a detailed plan for construction, a long-term business plan, a united front of Democratic and Republican lawmakers and a legislature and governor that authorized an expenditure of state tax money to ensure that the project was completed.

He also praised Midwestern states, where Democratic and Republican governors worked across party lines to develop a sound regional proposal.

Texas Transportation Department spokesman Chris Lippincott said the amount of money Texas received was “not a surprise.”

He noted that dollars given out from the economic stimulus pot went to “shovel-ready” projects such as the Tampa-Orlando line in Florida.

Texas needs “more funds and more time to be shovel-ready,” he said.

Texas transportation officials, elected leaders and private-sector figures have been talking for years about several potential high-speed rail corridors linking the population centers of Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Waco and Dallas.

Planning to continue

Texas will continue with “planning and environmental work which the US DOT has encouraged us to do,” Lippincott said.

Gov. Rick Perry's office declined to comment.

LaHood, a former Republican congressman , denied that partisan politics played any role in the selection process.

“We don't make decisions based on how somebody votes,” he said.

LaHood compared the current status of American high-speed rail to the highway system at the beginning of the interstate construction boom of the 1950s.

“We're at the starting point for high-speed rail,” he said. “The people want this.”

His advice to states like Texas, New York and Georgia: “Get your act together.”

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Like us on Facebook at

Sign up for BLET News Flash Alerts

© 1997-2022 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen


Decertification Helpline
(216) 694-0240

National Negotiations

ND Officers Election Rules

Sign up for BLET
News Flash Alerts


CSX reports higher revenue, earnings in Q4 2021
CSX announces Q4 2021 results
AAR reports rail traffic for week ending Jan. 15, 2022
What’s behind LA’s shocking rail heists? Supply chain crunch, limited security, idle trains
UP calls for strong deterrence vs. train robbers
California governor unveils effort to help fight plundering of LA rail cargo
UP CEO signals interest in autonomous intermodal cars
UP says staff crunch from COVID-19 may hurt Q1 2022 volumes
RRB Q&A: Annuitants may need to increase tax withholding at age 62
COVID-19 vaccine mandates and Unemployment and Sickness Benefits under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA)
Get the latest labor news from the Teamsters

More Headlines