More choices for better transportation
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August 20, 2009 • 8:54 am
The effort to build a bullet train in Florida took a sharp turn toward Washington, D.C. Tuesday. Can’t embed it, but here is the link. More of the same from Florida.
Filed under: Passenger Rail Politics, Regional USA Passenger Rail, United States High Speed Rail
Ho Hum, another attempt to waste money on HSR in Florida. The money would bring much faster returns and would require much less of it to just upgrade some existing tracks to 90mph speed limits. The incremental approach will work best because it will build the foundation of public support and then it will be much easier to fund HSR.
And… Floridians truly have to start spending some of their own money on these projects they way NC, WA, CA and other states have – the Feds are NOT going to foot the entire bill, nor should they (we)!
I agree with Anonymous that states, including Florida, should foot the
bill for INTRASTATE projects. Problem is, now Amtrak wants the states to pay for INTERSTATE national system routes and I am opposed to that.
You can’t upgrade existing track unless you purchase the rails from CSX. CSX won’t upgrade track in the near future(because it’s CSX), and I doubt CSX wants high-speed electric trainsets running on their freight lines, let alone an Amtrak LDS. Florida’s already completed the studies and the evaluations/paperwork, I say go for it. It’ll ease tension between Orlando and Tampa. This is an opportunity that Tampanians, Lakelanders, and Orlandonians don’t want to miss. It’ll create jobs, it’ll spur development between TPA and ORL, and job opportunities will become available. Anyways, it’s just my opinion.
Did you know that back in 1985 there was a speed rail committee established for the purpose of jump starting a rail project/study for the greater Tampa area??
Well, guess what? It’s 2009 right now..
It’s stupid to keep putting this off..
Isaac – I am a 30 year resident of Florida. Have you forgotten the prior history of HSR in Florida? The People pass a constitutional amendment to build a system, the Legislature does next to nothing to fund it and then Jeb Bush comes in and “fools” the People into revoking the earlier constitutional amendment. While the alleged studies have been completed, the State has yet to spead and real money, like Illinois, Calif., NC, Va., Wisc., etc. Why should Florida get one federal dime before it puts its own skin in the game? Heck, it cant even get the federal stimulus school money for its schools because it continues to cut taxes and spending.
Anonymous is right. only those states that have been actively trying to create their own HRS should get this money. Only AFTER has spent some millions to show it is serious should they get and funding.
BTW – who would use it. Why would I, who live in Orlando want to take a train to Tampa only to have to rent a car to get to the majority of attactions and the Gulf beaches? And the majority of tourist will rent a car after flying in. Those driving Orlando and Tampa with family will need no train. The federal money is MUCH better spent on the SE corridor from Wash, DC to Atlanta and New Orleans and the Midwest projects centering on Chicago. Both would attract much larger riders seeking to avoid crowded airlines.
Speed rail is getting from point A to point B. At the speeds these trains can get it makes no sense to develope mini speed trains to go from Orlando to Magic Kingdom or from Tampa Internationl air port to Busch Gardens. It takes quite a bit of stopping to slow down a 200-300 mph trains. I believe in shorter transportation there needs to be a different method [not rental cars]. If we start out very very small with 5 miles of light rail we will not get the kind of impact we want with fast effective rail.
The speed rail should be used for commute. The differences that lies should be taken up by local resources…
The way that I see this whole thing is that
1) bad leadership on both sides is responsible for Florida’s lack of frequent train service. Florida because of how it handled previous HSR attempts by not being serious enough to address how to operate the service and by anti-rail politicians who’d rather see more lanes added to interstates. Past Amtrak leadership also needs to be blamed. The nonsensical TPA routing, Warrington’s eventual withdrawal of a rerouting plan for some Silver Service trains via the FEC and Gunn killing the Palmetto south of SAV/closing off S-Line stops come to mind
2) the Sunshine State would have better off by getting more long-distance trains on the state’s busiest corridors, which in due time, would’ve led to local train and high speed service. After all, there is no excuse why one the nation’s top tourist states shouldn’t have more frequent train service
3) Florida has to get in line behind California, the Midwest, and the Southeast (in that order) and rethink its business plan as well. Anyone with any common sense should figure out that the ORL-MIA segment should be built first since it has more tourist attractions and would pull in more riders than TPA-ORL. In the meanwhile, I would advise the FDOT to implement a conventional train service that would tie in other major FL cities (like CA and NC did) and then go after the HSR bucks
Lotsa luck folks. Those of us in the FCRP, Florida Coalition of Railroad Passengers have pushed for years for more frequent train service, did in fact get the Sunset Ltd. extended to FL in 1993, but that was during the progressive Lawton Chiles regime. Since then, the neo-con Republicans have dashed any hope of any more rail service. We lost the Palmetto, and in 2005, we lost the Sunset. What do we lose next? Our FDOT guys don’t know a piece of rail from a scrap of asphalt, but prefer the latter. As long as we are autocentric, highway-centric, and keep electing a government that is that way, forget rail, just save your sheckles to buy more gasoline.
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