Monday, October 25, 2010

Sierra Club Praises New Federal Funding for Florida High-Speed Rail

An elevated, automatic light rail system in Taipei, Taiwan.U. S. Senator Bill Nelson’s office today announced that Florida will receive an additional $800 million in federal funds to help pay for the construction of a high-speed rail line from Tampa to Orlando.  This rail line could be the first-ever high speed rail project in the United States. Construction of the Tampa-Orlando route is scheduled to begin by 2012 and operation of the rail by 2015.

Sierra Club’s Florida Green Transportation Campaign welcomes the announcement of additional funding for high speed rail in Florida. The development of a high speed rail network in Florida will help make the state a leader in building the transportation choices Floridians need to help end our dependence oil and protect Florida's beaches from oil drilling and devastating spills.

Investing in 21st century transportation infrastructure will not only create jobs, but will save billions of dollars that Americans send overseas each day to pay for our oil addiction, making high speed rail for Florida a win-win-win for the economy, the environment, and Florida's citizens.

Floridians spend too much time and money stuck in traffic.  To move beyond oil and provide Floridians with transportation choices that work, Florida's high speed rail network must ensure that Floridians can travel car-free from start to finish, connecting to public transit at every depot.  

Sierra Club Florida will work to ensure that high speed rail follows a route that protects Florida's natural environment and provides transportation choices for Floridians that help us move beyond oil.

America needs to move beyond oil and invest in a 21st century transportation system for all Americans. The completion of a high-speed rail line is a big step forward in accomplishing that goal.

Sierra Club’s Florida Green Transportation Team seeks to secure state and federal administrative transportation policies that will promote low-carbon transportation choices and investments and ensure that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) become priorities in the allocation of transportation funding.

 -----Marti Daltry, Conservation Organizer, Florida Green Transportation Team