Delaware’s congressional delegation is pleased with the US Transportation Secretary’s decision to reallocate nearly $800 million in high-speed rail funds to the Northeast Corridor.
The Governor of Florida turned down the Sunshine State’s share of federal funds for high-speed rail in February. Representative John Carney and Senators Chris Coons and Tom Carper say the funding will be put to use in the Mid-Atlantic region to upgrade tracks, increase passenger capacity and improve performance.
“As Delawareans and Americans increasingly rely on passenger rail for their travel needs, the Northeast Corridor has a unique opportunity to serve as a national model for high-speed rail transportation in America,” Carper said.
Carney called high-speed rail a “crucial component in America’s quest to win the future.” He said upgrading the rail infrastructure will create thousands of jobs, alleviate congestion on the roads, and support manufacturing. Carney is also pleased that the package includes a “Buy America” provision which is designed to ensure that U.S.-based workers and companies are involved in the rail improvements.
Republican Governor Rick Scott of Florida earlier this year canceled plans for a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando due to concerns that Florida taxpayers could ultimately pay for possible cost overruns. In the process, $2.4 billion originally to be sent to Florida will be reallocated to other regions.
“It made sense to invest that money where it could do the most good, and there is no doubt that the Northeast Corridor was that place,” Coons said.