March 3, 2011

Last Chance for Gov. Scott to Approve High Speed Rail Nears

The Mayors want it, the people want it, the Federal government is ready to write a check and yet Gov. Scott remains steadfast hidden behind his misinformation and tea-party infused dogma. The risk involved in NOT doing high speed rail is so high, I can't understand why Gov. Scott would refuse it.

We risk not attracting tens of thousands of new high paying tech and creative jobs to the state, risk not continuing to grow as a destination for tourism, risk the immediate lost of up to 60,000 jobs that will be created to build and support the HSR system, risk more of our tax payer dollars going to some other state.

If even just a few of these risks panned out with the HSR project, it would be worth it, plus we get the bonus of the beginnings of a transportation infrastructure we can be proud of and build upon as a backbone for additional and much needed light rail and street car projects.

The oppositions expectation that every rail car show a profit is absurd. Proponents expectation that even if it operates at a loss, that loss will be mitigated by private industry and that the additional state tax revenue that the project will bring through growth and development will more than outweigh any initial low ridership numbers.

As more projects are built to feed into the system, ridership numbers will improve as will the quality of life for Florida. Then when you throw in the kicker that HSR is an important part of reducing our dependency on oil, it's the biggest no-brainer of the century and Gov. Scott is too beholden to special interests to see that.