On February 16, 2011, Florida Governor Rick Scott rejected $2.4 billion in high speed passenger rail funding. I immediately called on Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to redirect that funding to high-speed rail projects for New York’s Empire and Northeast Corridors.
In my letter to Secretary LaHood, I wrote:
“These investments will create jobs, spur economic development, and continue to build on the growth of ridership we’ve seen in recent years… You are keenly aware of the benefits that high-speed rail development would bring New York and the United States, which is why I respectfully request that these dismissed funds be re-appropriated to New York and the Northeast Corridor, where they are both desired and would help demonstrate the benefits that our shared commitment to modernizing the nation’s rail infrastructure would have on the country’s future economic growth.”
Secretary LaHood made it clear that “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.”
And on March 4th, it was reported that:
After speaking with Scott Friday morning, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood conceded that the Florida project would not leave the station and the money would be sent to willing recipients in other states.
Mr. Secretary, New York is one of those states.
Please help me petition Secretary LaHood to redirect this crucial high speed rail funding to New York, where it is wanted and needed.