Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Florida Governor Rick Scott Became My Chris Christie Today Because Of This

Speak softly but carry big budget cutting scissors.

Gov. Rick Scott just announced that he has rejected federal money that would be used to build a high-speed rail line from Tampa to Orlando, saying the project would be “far too costly to taxpayers” and that he believes “the risk far outweighs the benefits.”

Even without getting into the "Green" aspect of trains, this would be a boondoggle.

First step would be planning. How many communities wouldn't want the rail to run through their back yard? The "Not In My Backyard" (NIMBY) effect.

Second, rights of way. Would the rail run along the same highway that connects Tampa Bay and Orlando or a different route? Not everyone who owns land or property along that pathway is going to want to move or sell. Some may claim 'Historic Landmark' and won't be able to move. Some will try to bilk the government out of more money than what their land is worth because they can.

Others will have their homes taken at the point of a gun simply because 'the rail needed to be made'.

Third, in order for the rail to be successful, people will need to pay to ride it. Orlando is a very large destination town anyway because of Disney World and other theme parks located there. How many people need to ride between Tampa and Orlando in order for a rail to make a profit and be successful?

There are already many alternative forms of transportation available for those who want to go to the parks. Many hotels offer daily bus rides to and from the parks (at least, last time I went they did five years ago. I can't imagine things would have changed that dramatically since then).

If a family is visiting Orlando and wants to visit Tampa and takes the rail, they will be at the mercy of whatever forms of transportation they can find in TB. And not the freedom of the open road.

And that is off the top of my head just for starters. Gov. Rick Scott has even more reasons listed.

What happens if it's unsuccessful? Does the train become scrapped or will laws and regulations be passed in order to force people to take the train? Installing toll booths on the highways that charge an unreasonable amount just to dive 5 or 55 minutes on the road in order to condition people in using the rail? Or subsidize the hell out of it with tax money?

A train can work if it was stationed between two large centralized populations with a lot of the population commuting back and forth. And if there was an easy way to get from home, to rail, to work and back again.

Anymore, "High Speed Rails" are just being built in order to build them and nothing more.

And because they are "Green" and that should be good enough, you planet haters! Shut up!

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