Is This Is Anyway to Run a Railroad?!*

Here’s a link to an article in the Orlando Sentinel. The title sums it up: Scramble is on to link SunRail, fast rail — why no plan?  Here is a quote from the lead paragraphs in the article:

Two train systems meant to usher in a new era of transportation in Metro Orlando are slated to run along separate tracks that will intersect west of Orlando International Airport.

But, as it stands, there is no planned connection where passengers from the $1.2 billion SunRail commuter train could transfer to the $2.6 billion high-speed train or vice versa. How is that possible?

Indeed, how is this possible? It also points out that the communities that are slated to get the most benefit from the rail are tapped out for paying for their share of SunRail, as is the state. The result is a severely underfunded project and we, the taxpayers of ALL OF FLORIDA, will be on the hook for the bill. Consider this fair warning.

The Federal Railroad Administration Director admits that the federal funds so far allocated will not cover the cost of the high speed rail, saying the first 1.25 BILLION just a down payment (they need another 1.4 Billion to complete the high speed rail) and he admits:

“The $1.25 billion doesn’t mean much,” he said, “if we don’t get trains operating between Tampa and the airport.”

Left unsaid, is what I wrote about rail when this issue was pending : For every dollar a passenger uses to take rail, the government (whether it be local, state or Fed) has to cough up nine dollars in subsidy. So, if we continue down this so far, mismanaged, ill conceived path, expect your taxes (at the Local, State and Federal levels) to go up. That is a cold hard fact.

The “High Speed Rail” plan being pushed on the American people NATIONWIDE has, distressingly, what is becoming the standard hallmarks of an Obama administration plan or project: Ill-conceived, poorly planned, monstrously expensive and in the cold harsh light of reality, a complete waste of funds.

In addition to our Republican led legislature who essentially this “Train Wreck ” of a program, I also blame our State’s Chief Executive (aka Governor Crist) for his lack of oversight or direction. This is what happens when a Governor is more interested in moving to Washington than minding the Florida’s business, as he was elected and paid to do.

To my fellow Republicans: It is going along with projects like this that cause people to doubt Republicans are serious when they say they have learned the lessons of the past two elections and won’t disappoint if returned to power in DC. At the last Okaloosa County Republican Executive Committee, I asked the question: who supported the recent rail vote. Nary a hand was raised.

As a loyal Republican, I can tell you it gets tough to defend the indefensible when you talk to non-Republicans. This “Train” has left the station, but it has yet to arrive at its destination. If there is any way to derail this “Train”, I urge our Republicans in the Florida legislature to do it.

Somewhere underneath this pile, has to be a pony.

*Hat tip to Henry Kelly for alerting me to this article

UPDATE: From Sid Dinerstein, Palm Beach County Republican Party Chairman : He alerts me to a failed rail system inn a Densely Populated TOURIST Center: Las Vegas: Las Vegas Monorail files for Bankruptcy Protection.  Guess who is on the hook?  Local Taxpayers. Think about it.