U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Wednesday that 24 states had submitted a total of 90 applications for a piece of the $2.4 billion in high-speed rail money that Florida punted when Gov. Rick Scott scuttled the Orlando-to-Tampa rail line.
The applications are coming from Red and Blue states across the country — not just concentrated in the Northeast — including southern neighbors like Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, to Maine, Midwest states like Missouri, and West coasters Oregon and California. The various rail projects jockeying for Florida’s money total just under $10 billion.
“Today, we are another step closer to delivering an innovative, national transportation network that brings new jobs and economic opportunity to the American people,” LaHood said in a statement. “Since I announced the availability of an additional $2.4 billion for high-speed rail projects, governors and members of Congress have been clamoring for the opportunity to participate. That’s because they know that high-speed rail will deliver tens of thousands of jobs, spur economic development across their communities and create additional options for their citizens as the country’s population grows.”