Traffic-free ride from Tampa to Disney World? Not so fast, readers say
This week marks a major milestone in Florida's quest for high-speed rail.
State transportation officials will submit their first application for billions in federal stimulus money to help pay for a rail line connecting Tampa and Orlando. The line is considered a top contender in the competition for $8 billion attached to President Barack Obama's vision for "world-class passenger rail" in 10 major corridors, including Florida.
If the state is successful in its bid, money could start flowing as early as September for the $2.5 billion Tampa connection, which could be completed in four years. The line would eventually connect Tampa to Orlando, Miami and Jacksonville.
The prospect of a traffic-free ride to Disney has sparked chatter on tampabay.com, with more than 100 comments posted this morning. Here's a quick look at what they're saying:
"FLA is not NYC. It's sprawling," wrote Conservative Mike from Largo. "The people that need this transit will not be able to afford it. Meanwhile we will foot the bill for another failed feel-good policy."
Campaign Contributor calls it "a boondoggle on wheels... or rails as it were. Millions in tax dollars for 27 people. And still no empirical data to show the need or want. Welcome to Floriduh politics; the best corrupt politicians money can buy."
"Once you get off the rail, THEN how do you get around?" asks Lively from Crystal River. "Your choices are very limited and the buses in Tampa/Orlando very slow."
"Hey this is great news!" wrote John from Indian Rocks Beach. "An easy fast way to get to Orlando and back would be great. But here's the thing, I wouldn't pay more than $10, maybe $20 a trip."
Nick from Pasco is all for it: "This is a great idea. I think we should do it. I will save energy and create jobs. And also improve tourism. It's about time we improved our public transportation."
Your take? Are you ready for a speedy ride to Orlando? Or does this all sound like a waste of taxpayer money?