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

Membership
Benefits
News and Issues
Departments
Information
Secretary-Treasurer
Merchandise
Communications
FELA
Events
Links
User Info

U.S. Rep. Hastings: Rejecting high-speed rail money was big mistake for Florida

(The following column by U.S. Rep Alcee L. Hastings appeared on the South Florida Sun-Sentinel website on June 1, 2011. Rep. Hastings serves as senior member of the House Rules Committee, ranking Democratic member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Democratic chairman of the Florida Delegation.)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. As gas prices hover around $4 per gallon nationwide, Floridians are reminded yet again of what could have been.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on May 9 $2 billion in high-speed rail awards to boost train speeds in the Northeast Corridor, expand service in the Midwest, and provide new, state-of-the-art locomotives and railcars. These funds could have gone to Florida. In fact, they did.

Last year, Florida was poised to become the first state to usher in the era of American high-speed rail. With $1.25 billion in federal stimulus funds announced by President Obama, as well as another $342 million originally intended for projects in Wisconsin and Ohio, Florida would have built the first stretch of a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando that would later link to Central Florida's planned SunRail commuter line, South Florida's Tri-Rail commuter line and a national rail network, fundamentally changing the way we travel in this country.

This historic opportunity was lost, along with the expected 23,000 construction jobs, commerce and tourism it would generate, when Gov.Rick Scott rejected $2.4 billion in federal funds for high-speed rail in February. He fallaciously claimed that Floridians would be left with the final bill and questioned prospective ridership.

Full column: www.sun-sentinel.com

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Like us on Facebook at
Facebook.com/BLETNational

Sign up for BLET News Flash Alerts

© 1997-2020 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

 


Decertification Helpline
(216) 694-0240

National Negotiations

Sign up for BLET
News Flash Alerts

DAILY HEADLINES

U.S. rail headcount rises on monthly basis
Canadian crude by rail exports fall to another 8-year low in July
NTSB: Improperly fastened rail joint caused derailment that killed Texas man
Amtrak, which reduced service to 2 roundtrips in Norfolk and Newport News, has revived routes
RRB names Director of Hearings and Appeals
Q&A: RRB financial reports
Get the latest labor news from the Teamsters

More Headlines