High-speed and high cost
Wheels turn on rail plan | May 24
There is always a problem when talk turns to federally funded high-speed rail projects; once the construction is completed and the shiny new wears off, somebody has to do the dirty work of maintenance. Although I didn’t much care for Gov. Rick Scott, I think his rejection of the pot of gold that was Tampa-to-Orlando high-speed rail was the prudent move. At the time I thought the ridership studies were greatly inflated. Tough as it may be, if we’re going to be serious about mass transit expansion of any type, we have to include methods to force people from their cars, or the plans will go nowhere. In the case of a bullet rail system, local light rail or enhanced bus service, they have to be funded by punitive gas taxes that make drivers think twice about not using mass transit. Gas would need to be taxed to a degree that it costs $6 or $8 a gallon. At current costs, if we are being honest, we will not use the bus to get around town or to commute. It is just too convenient and cheap to use our own vehicle. Without a method to force people’s hands, any spending on public mass transit ought to be reserved for moving poor people from homes to jobs, not moving executives rapidly to downtown or tourists to Disney.
Stuart McKinney, Gulfport
$300 a week no more
Fla. to end federal job aid | May 24
Does Gov. Ron DeSantis wake up every morning and take a mean pill, then decide which group of people he wants to harm? Taking away federal weekly unemployment three months early is spiteful.
Eileen Stafford, St. Petersburg
Accountability or not?
DeSantis signs ‘Big Tech’ bill | May 24
Sen. Rick Scott demands accountability for “Big Tech” but turns a blind eye to accountability for government. He wants no special commission for the Jan. 6 insurrection to find the truth as to how it happened but wants to demand companies like Twitter to allow Donald Trump back on the platform even though he was removed for posting election misinformation and lies.
Jackie Kanner, St. Petersburg