Despite its capital costs being almost entirely covered by Washington and plenty of evidence that private investors want to move forward, project is off the tracks for now.The big corporations in Florida, all huge GOP donors, are willing TO PAY THE COSTS themselves to keep this project going.
Just days after the White House revealed its ambitions for a $53 billion, six-year plan for an American high-speed rail network, the place where it was all supposed to begin now appears to be out of the running. Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) announced that he would refuse $2.4 billion in federal funds to build a rail line between Orlando and Tampa. The project’s construction would have required $280 million in state aid to be completed, but projections had indicated that the line would cover its own operating costs.
The Obama Administration has funded the project more than any other outside of California and hoped that the scheme, which would have opened in 2016 as the first line in a nationwide network, would serve as a model for the rest of the country. Numerous private corporations — including international conglomerates such as Siemens, Alstom, and JR East — have indicated that they would be willing to pick up the state’s tab and cover construction and operations risks, in exchange for the right to operate the trains.
Yet Mr. Scott has moved to squash the project nonetheless, acting before those companies were supposed to respond to the state high speed rail authority’s request for proposals. This is a shortsighted move that will only benefit others: The federal funding will be redistributed to projects in states such as California and Illinois.
As we've seen in other states, Scott is turning this down based on some combination of wanting to stick it to the muslim usurper, pissing off liberals and generally being an asshole.
Great job Republicans, I'm sure ten years from now you'll be looking at the high speed rail in California and Illinois, congratulating yourselves on how you helped your state avoid that menace.