Skip to comments.U.S. transportation secretary releases $77M in federal funds for SunRail
Posted on 07/18/2011 3:32:41 PM PDT by shove_it
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood turned loose $77 million in federal tax dollars to help build the much-contested SunRail commuter train during a sun-baked ceremony Monday near one of the system's future depots.
LaHood signed a fake document before a crowd of more than 300 people. But the stroke of the pen that counted occurred in an air-conditioned tent a few moments later.
That opened the way for the first 31 miles of the $1.2 billion train to be up and running by May 2014.
"When you get your act together, unbelievable things can happen. And look what's happening: SunRail is coming," LaHood said.
Notably absent Monday was Gov. Rick Scott, who approved SunRail on July 1 after putting it on hold for six months. Scott told the Orlando Sentinel in a previous interview that he was worried the train would not attract enough riders, but he did not have the legal ability to scuttle it.
Asked about Monday's festivities, he said, "I have plenty of other things to do."
SunRail has been loudly opposed by members of the conservative tea party, many of whom form Scott's key constituency. They contend the train will carry few passengers and cost millions annually in construction overruns and operating subsidies.
(Excerpt) Read more at orlandosentinel.com ...
But it will put Obama’s “people” to work, and thus buy him some votes.
$77 Mil to build 31 miles of railroad. I doubt it.
$77 Mil — and 10 years — to fight the first round of environmentalist lawsuits, maybe.
That's just the first round of cuts that 0bama has planned to save our anemic economy.
That said, at least Scott was able to get rid of the ultimate boondoggle, the “high speed rail” between Orlando and Tampa.
This new project is basically commuter rail, and Florida actually could use it (you know it if you’ve ever driven on the highways near our major cities here!).
High speed rail is a waste of time in Florida for two reasons: it is a vastly expensive but already antiquated technology that requires rebuilding the entire rail infrastructure; and there’s really not the need to go that fast between most places here. A BART or LIRR type railway is fine for most places in Florida.
We could stand a better train along the Atlantic coast route (Jacksonville to Miami, a 5 hour drive). Get rid of Amtrak, and we might be talking....
The bottom line is that the federal government has no business building a railroad, anywhere, anytime!
Just ask Dagny Taggart.
Have fun looking that one up