(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) DOT secretary Ray LaHood is not happy about Florida governor Rick Scott's decision to reject federal funding for high speed rail. His office issued the following statement this morning:
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Statement on Florida Governor Scott’s Decision to Decline High-Speed Rail Dollars
WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today made the following statement regarding Florida Governor Rick Scott’s decision to decline high-speed rail dollars.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood: “We are extremely disappointed by Governor Rick Scott’s decision to walk away from the job creating and economic development benefits of high speed rail in Florida. We worked with the governor to make sure we eliminated all financial risk for the state, instead requiring private businesses competing for the project to assume cost overruns and operating expenses. It is projects like these that will help America out-build our global competitors and lay the foundation needed to win the future. This project could have supported thousands of good-paying jobs for Floridians and helped grow Florida businesses, all while alleviating congestion on Florida’s highways. Nevertheless, there is overwhelming demand for high speed rail in other states that are enthusiastic to receive Florida’s funding and the economic benefits it can deliver, such as manufacturing and construction jobs, as well as private development along its corridors.”