Rick Scott Not Wavering on Rejection of High-Speed Rail, Says No Meetings with US DOT Before Deadline
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
By Kate Hinds
(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) Florida Governor Rick Scott isn't wavering in his rejection of high-speed rail funds. And he says he has no meetings scheduled with the US DOT to discuss the issue -- despite the fact that Friday is the deadline for Scott to turn over authority for Florida high-speed rail to another entity. If he doesn't the funds will revert to the U.S. DOT.
Scott was in New York City today as part of a multi-city tour promoting Florida's tourist industry. Transportation Nation grabbed him for a few minutes afterwards; transcript below.
Q: You talk about jobs. Senator Nelson says high speed rail will bring 24,000 jobs to Florida – how can you turn it down?
Rick Scott: Well, my concern is I want to focus on the places where we have a long-term impact, not just construction of high speed rail. Things like our ports, our highways, the infrastructure, that’s what I want to focus on. We’ve got a great position, Florida has, with the expansion of the Panama Canal and the expansion of the economies of Central and South America. My concern about the high-speed rail is it’s a large number-- $2.4 billion-- however it doesn’t cover all the operating costs, it doesn’t cover the construction costs, and, if it doesn’t work, and we have to shut it down, we have to give all that money back. That’s what I’m worried about.