Maybe it’s something they put in the Kool-Aid at Biden and LaHood’s HSR meeting earlier this month. For whatever reason, Sonny Purdue has had a change of heart about HSR. From the Savannah Morning News:
Gov. Sonny Perdue returns from a meeting of governors in Washington as a new convert to the idea of high-speed rail.
What’s more, he’s vowed to evangelize the governors of neighboring states — who skipped the meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood — on the merits of establishing a high-speed rail network.
Perdue’s change of heart is welcome news. For years, Perdue downplayed high-speed rail as too expensive and unlikely to draw enough riders to be self-supporting.
To be sure, President Obama’s announcement of $8 billion in rail funding from stimulus funds, plus another $5 billion called for in the president’s budget, might have been enough to turn the governor’s head on the issue. (Although aides say Perdue’s train travels in China and Spain also played a role.)
That’s all well and good, but is he going to do anything to overhaul Georgia’s inflexible DOT and dethrone King Highway? Probably not, but there’s definitely something to be said for having an administration that is, at least, not hostile to passenger rail in one of the nation’s growing population centers.
And if it’s all political posturing? That’s good news too. Since when did passenger rail support become something political figures had to pay lip service towards?