Tuesday, March 23, 2010

High-speed rail to nowhere

Today's New York Times takes a look at a proposed high-speed rail link between Orlando and Tampa, which has been allocated $1.25 billion in stimulus money. Among the points made in the article:
  • The two cities are so close that no airlines fly between them. Thus, no passengers would be lured from air to rail.
  • Rail would only take about 30 minutes less than driving. Furthermore, with driving you can go directly to your destination. Rail terminates at a station which requires finding another method of transportation to get where you want to go. In addition, Tampa's public transit is not among the city's strengths.
  • A planning group compiled a list of locations where high-speed rail is best poised to succeed. Tampa-Orlando wasn't even ranked.
  • The rail line would go to downtown Tampa, but not to Tampa’s airport. It would go to Orlando’s airport, but not to downtown Orlando. Furthermore, Orlando's planned commuter rail system doesn't connect to the high-speed rail line.
Good thing that money was given to politicians instead of the public through tax cuts -- who knows what kind of crazy things the taxpayers might have spent it on?

No comments: