NY Gov-Elect Wants HSR Money Other New Govs are Giving Up

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In one of his first acts as Governor-Elect, Andrew Cuomo says wants high speed rail money other governors are giving up.  As a candidate, Cuomo's transportation plans were only given in outline, but if he follows through on aggressively pursuing federal funding for transportation projects, things could get interesting -- Transportation Nation

Here's the release:

Press Release from the office of Governor-elect of NY Andrew Cuomo.


Governors-Elect in Ohio and Wisconsin Have Promised to Cancel Major Federally Funded Rail Projects in their Home States

Action Would Free Up $1.26 Billion in Stimulus Funding for High-Speed Rail Projects

New York Governor-Elect Andrew Cuomo today sent a personal letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking that if Governors-Elect in Ohio and Wisconsin move forward with campaign promises to cancel major federally funded high-speed rail projects in their states, he redirect the $1.26 billion in stimulus funding already dedicated to those projects to New York.

“High speed rail is critical to building the foundation for future economic growth, especially Upstate. If these Governors-Elect follow through on their promises to cancel these projects, a Cuomo Administration would move quickly to put the billions in rejected stimulus funding towards projects that would create thousands of good jobs for New Yorkers.

Below is a copy of the Governor-Elect’s letter to Secretary LaHood:

November 5, 2010

Hon. Ray LaHood


U.S. Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Ave., SE

Washington, DC 20590

Dear Secretary LaHood:

High speed rail could be transformative for New York—with the potential to revitalize Upstate New York’s economy with construction jobs now and permanent jobs created by the new high speed rail links to New York City, Toronto and Montreal in the future. That is why I made high speed rail a priority during my campaign, and that is why it will continue to be a top priority for me as Governor.

To date, New York has received only a small fraction of federal money for high speed rail, but we want to make it a success now, and my Administration will aggressively pursue all funding opportunities to make high speed rail a reality.  Recent reports have stated that incoming Administrations in other states, particularly Ohio and Wisconsin, are seeking to cancel their high speed rail projects and the hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid associated with those projects.  Therefore, I would ask you to consider redirecting the federal funding to New York because the project is a top priority.

High speed rail could be the 21st Century Erie Canal for New York State and help rebuild Upstate New York’s economy. Now is the moment to build. Thank you for the consideration and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate and call.

Best wishes,

Andrew M. Cuomo


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Here's the DOT response to our follow-up on this Cuomo's requst:

"We recognize that there is an incredible demand for high-speed rail dollars around the country. The Obama administration’s high-speed rail program will create jobs, spur economic development and provide people with cleaner, greener alternatives to driving and flying."