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T&I Chair Mica 'deeply disappointed' at Fla. ending rail project

(The following appeared on The Journal of Commerce website on February 16, 2011.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he is "deeply disappointed" at Wednesday's decision by Gov. Rick Scott to stop a major high-speed passenger rail program backed by big federal grants.

Mica has been a critic of the Obama rail plan investing heavily in slow-speed Amtrak service, and favors giving private investors a chance to help build or operate true high-speed passenger rail systems. His committee will soon write its own multi-year surface transportation legislation and try to put its own stamp on passenger rail programs.

In the wake of Scott's announcement today, Mica said "I have urged the governor to reconsider going forward and allow the private sector to assume the risk and any future costs for the project. I made this appeal to the governor this morning. With the federal government assuming 90 percent of the cost of the project, I am disappointed the private sector will not have an opportunity to even offer innovative proposals to help finance the balance of the costs and to construct and operate this system."

The full story appears on the Journal of Commerce website.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

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