From Associated Press writer Joan Lowy’s article, “White House doles out $8 billion for fast trains,”
Rep. John MicaÂ of Florida, the senior Republican on theÂ House transportation committee, complained that the Midwest lines awarded grants will achieve top speeds of only 110 mph and were “selected more for political reasons than for high-speed service.”
No, John, the Midwest was selected because it had a comprehensive plan with a regional approach, and with all Midwest states on board a collaborative effort to make Chicago the hub of an expansive network of fast trains that go to many, desirable destinations.
The Midwest was also selected because many of the Amtrak routes showed increased ridership over the past three years (2006-2009), and the ones that received a higher state subsidy or targeted improvements (with fundingÂ from the states) that reduced travel time and increased reliability showed an especially high increase in ridership.
And excuse me, Florida received a lot of money for a high-speed train between Tampa, Orlando, and Miami.
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