Contrary to my friend and publisher Dr. Ramakers who likes the high speed train projects, I am a true-blooded American with a deep love for the freedom of the automobile, that may outrank practicality of transportation, but is it just me or am I seeing some really stupid stuff going on that is costing us billions of dollars. I couldn’t help but watch with a dropped jaw the President announcing in Florida this week the need for a high speed train from Tampa to Orlando. Think about this for a minute, Tampa to Orlando? I truly don’t get this one. Is this going to increase tourism in Florida? Will this provide much needed jobs now? Will there be enough business for the project to sustain itself financially or will people still prefer to take their cars?
I think the answer to all the above questions would be a simple, NO. I don’t see this train having any increase on tourism in the state. As far as producing jobs, construction will not end until 2014 and 2017, so much for what we need now. How many people will flock to this wonder train to nowhere and fork out whatever the cost will be to ride it? I don’t see it as a money maker, I think it will become another unfunded mandate on the taxpayers of this state.
Our elected officials are saying they hope for a $2.5 billion funding to come through although there are those who think it will be less, somewhere around $1.8 or so. I don’t think anyone has thought this thing through completely. I wonder what $2.5 billion could do for the economy of the state and reducing unemployment if it were loaned to small businesses? Just a thought.