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Posted by on Jun 25, 2009 in Transit | 5 comments

John Mica on Alternative Transportation

The following is from a PBS interview.

BLUEPRINT AMERICA: You are a Republican – and you support transportation and infrastructure spending?

REP. MICA: Well, I tell you though, if you’re on the Transportation Committee long enough, even if you’re a fiscal conservative, which I consider myself to be, you quickly see the benefits of transportation investment. Simply, I became a mass transit fan because it’s so much more cost effective than building a highway. Also, it’s good for energy, it’s good for the environment – and that’s why I like it.

BLUEPRINT AMERICA: If anything, you’d say that your time in Congress and on the Transportation Committee has brought you around to these ideas?

REP. MICA: Yes. And, seeing the cost of one person in one car. The cost for construction. The cost for the environment. The cost for energy. You can pretty quickly be convinced that there’s got to be a more cost effective way. It’s going to take a little time, but we have to have good projects, they have to make sense – whether it’s high-speed rail or commuter rail or light rail. We got to have some alternatives helping people – even in the rural areas – to get around.

Perhaps he could talk to the brain-damaged Florida legislature which has killed our fully-funded commuter rail two years in a row.

5 Comments

  1. Transit, transit, rah rah rah! I’m not even being sarcastic. I would love to see some big, well executed transit projects.

  2. SunRail got an important reprieve yesterday. CSX agreed to extend its contract with FDOT, giving the state and local governments more time to work out the insurance and liability issue.

  3. So …… where do we stand right now with SunRail? I went to their website and I didn’t see this news (CSX extending the contract), but I saw other news about extending bids for rail cars?? . Mostly, all I saw was the sorrow expressed over the vote and vows to bring this back up some time in the future (but probably not this year).

    What is going on behind the scenes — anyone know?

  4. The Sentinel had a blurb on the CSX deal extension http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orl-commuter-rail-csx-062609,0,43843.story

    My understanding is that FDOT is still moving forward with phase 1, though clearly things are a bit delayed. At issue is the acquisition of some properties for stations included in phase 2. Some rail cars were already purchased and are on loan to TriRail. The Obama administration also included $40 million for SunRail in its proposed budget.

  5. FDOT is looking at options that would not include the need from Florida legislature. One possible option is to have the cities, which are involved with sunrail, to step forward and manage the rail. Other options are being looked at.