Negative reaction was swiftly forthcoming. “Governor Scott rejected billions of federal dollars that would have created jobs and supercharged Florida’s tourism industry,” said Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “Instead, he placed short-sighted partisan politics above people’s transportation needs and job creation. Governor Scott’s true motivations were reflected in his partisan statements criticizing President Obama.”
APTAPresident William Millar was more circumspect in issuing the following statement:
“Whilerecent attention has focused on three states (Florida, Wisconsin, and Ohio) returningtheir federal grants for high speed rail, the facts are that 28 states areforging ahead in planning and implementing high speed and intercity passengerrail improvements. These states recognize the critical importance of investingto create a modern, intermodal 21st century transportation system toaccommodate expected population and economic growth. Thisinvestment is expanding the rail industry in the United States and will lead tohundreds of thousands of much-needed American jobs. High speed rail will be aneconomic boon to the communities and states it serves and will help relievehighway and aviation congestion in many corridors. Americais expected to grow dramatically in the next several decades. We must makeinfrastructure investments now just as President Eisenhower did in the1950s in creating the interstate highway system. President Obama and thegovernors of these 28 states are to be congratulated for their vision.”
Tampa’s existing 2.7-mile TECO streetcar line dedicated a$5.3 million extension, one-third of a mile, to Whiting Street on Jan. 31,though the extension began revenue service two months earlier. The streetcar isoverseen by the Hillsborough Area Regional Transportation Authority (HART).