FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2011
from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer regarding Florida High Speed Rail
Yesterday, the Mayors of Orlando, Tampa, Lakeland and
Miami reached out to Governor Scott to make it unmistakably clear that
the Orlando to Tampa High Speed Rail project could be built without one
dime from Florida taxpayers and absolutely no risk to the state.
Unfortunately, it appears Governor Scott has chosen to ignore these
facts and has reiterated his decision to reject federal funding for the
project as well as Florida’s inclusion in an eventual state and
nationwide high speed rail network.
This is an incredibly disappointing turn of events for the residents of
our state who desperately need jobs and now face a future of
increasingly gridlocked roads and the potential for five and six dollar
a gallon gasoline.
While I am disappointed that Florida will not break ground on high speed
rail this year, I am in awe of the work that was done by so many people
in the last few weeks who fought to save this once in a generation
project. This broad coalition of Florida’s elected leaders, residents
and businesses worked tirelessly to deliver a plan that would have
allowed the private sector to take on the cost and risk of the project.
It is truly a shame that Floridians are going to miss out on the many
benefits of high speed rail.
I also want to thank the United States Department of Transportation and
Secretary Ray LaHood for their level of patience and cooperation. It’s
clear that our federal partners realize the importance of Florida as a
critical part of America’s high speed rail network.
While I share the frustration of millions of Floridians during this
moment of great disappointment, I remain committed to working toward a
day when High Speed Rail will be a reality for us, a reality that
creates jobs and prosperity for everyone who calls our great state home.