Bullet Train on Track

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL - Florida could move faster on construction of a high speed rail system than any other state in the union. The environmental impact studies are complete. The right-of-way secured.

2.4 billion Federal stimulus dollar have been set aside for the project, but only if Florida puts up the final 280 million dollars.

Governor Rick Scott is searching the globe to find investors willing to front the money. The Japanese are onboard.

“I sincerely hope the state of Florida will adopt the Japanese system and build a train on high speed rail,” said Japanese Translator Ren Ito.

There’s also interest from Europe.

“I met with the Consuls General of the European Union,” said Governor Scott.

The original plan was to take the 280 million from the state budget, but with new leaders in the conductors seat, the state’s on a new track.

Senate President Mike Haridopolos says if the private sector isn’t onboard, then the state sure shouldn’t take the risk on rail.

“I think that 90 percent being paid for by Washington D.C. should be more than commercially viable, not only for the short term, but also in the operation and maintenance relm,” said Haridopolos.

But the clock is ticking to find investors. If the state doesn’t come up with the cash before the end of September, the money will be given to another state. Associated Industries of Florida doesn’t think that will happen.

“We believe that these companies will step forward and pick up the entire cost and the liability to the state will essentially be nil,” said AIF President Barney Bishop.

The high speed rail project connecting Tampa to Orlando will create 4-thousand construction jobs over four years and an additional 1-thousand permanent positions. If the Tampa - Orlando connection is built, the plan is to review building a connection from Orlando to Miami.

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  • by Anonymous on Jan 14, 2011 at 08:00 AM
    I have been to Europe several times and have used their train system and bullet trains, they are great. I see no reason for starting this in Forida and being the beggining of a new transportation idea. After the first leg, there are plans to build Orlando to Miami and then the rest of the state...
  • by Tom Location: Tallahassee on Jan 14, 2011 at 06:15 AM
    As a weekly flyer out off Tallahassee, I would welcome a high speed rail alternative with schedules not affected by Atlanta. Let's not burn up our funny money on so called "consultants" that gave us our current lame US rail system. Europe and Asia have the expertise to provide a system that people would actually want to use and expand.
  • by Surprise Location: leon county on Jan 14, 2011 at 04:15 AM
    I like to see our new "Lets get to work Gov." just say no to all this Grants thats code for? Our tax moneys bummer.
  • by Franklin Thompson Location: Tallahassee on Jan 14, 2011 at 03:15 AM
    I've Got it!! There is $2.4 billion dollars that is going to be given to Fla. if we can find another $280 million dollars. We don't have in our pockets, either of these amounts of money; so our financial picture at this point is that the public does not have to cough up $280 million dollars. OK, we are not dependent on any of this money and that means we're ahead of the game at this point. If the $280 million is found, we get the $2.4 billion. Right now, we have neither of these amounts of money and the taxpayers are not out any money because that's where it comes from. If we build this bullet head train we'll then still not have either of these sums of money and also a train we don't need. It sounds a lot like the check cashing scams, 'give me this lower amount of $$$ and I'll give you this check for a higher amount'. On any economic scale, I say we are ahead of the game as we speak.
  • by wdyoung Location: Tallahassee on Jan 13, 2011 at 07:20 PM
    I can think of better things to do with 2.4B. I see city buses with many empty seats. It'll be the same with this.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 13, 2011 at 07:13 PM
    Tallahassee to Atlanta
  • by Leroy Hanks Location: Havanna on Jan 13, 2011 at 05:50 PM
    WTF is costing 2.4 billion?
  • by Bubba Location: right there on Jan 13, 2011 at 05:40 PM
    Tampa to Orlando??? Why not from Pensacola to Jacksonville to Miami? They do want a lot of people to use it don't they? Tampa to Orlando? Very limited use!Typical political in their pockets politics!
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