Ridership on the Silver Star between New York and Miami is up. That is the good news reported in the Tampa Tribune. They did infer that Amtrak ridership was down nationally. It would be more accurate to say that ridership on long distance trains has not been hit by economic conditions. Here is the link. It’s a good story that has a bit of bad news tucked away several paragraphs down.
Florida is not as well positioned as at least a dozen other states to obtain federal stimulus funds for Amtrak because some funds are expected to go to states with well developed rail programs, Capon said.
However, the Florida High Speed Rail Authority submitted a resolution to Gov. Charlie Crist on March 2 seeking the governor’s support to seek funds from an $8 billion pool for high speed rail in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The authority had been inactive since November 2004, when voters opposed granting state taxes for high-speed rail between Tampa, Orlando and Miami,
This is especially disheartening when one considers the dense population in many parts of Florida and the many cities.We suffer from a serious lack of vision.
It would be more acurate to say that government is a lot more responsive to the well oiled special interest machines than the needs and wishes of real people.