SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – A decision by Florida Governor Rick Scott to cancel plans for high-speed rail in the state could spell good news for California’s high-speed rail project.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood sharply criticized Scott’s decision and noted that other states are enthusiastic about the prospect of getting the $2.4 billion in federal funds that was slated to go to Florida.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

California Congressman John Garamendi said that if the state were to receive the funding, it would take the project to a whole new level.

“I would hope that the secretary would make a decision quickly and then California would have the money and use it,” he said.

Rachel Wall with the California High-Speed Rail Authority agrees and said the state is well positioned to benefit from Florida’s decision.

“I think that California stands in a good position. We have been working on this project for quite awhile,” Wall said. “And the federal government has already signaled its confidence in California’s project by awarding us the most out of any state in the nation.”

Construction on the first leg of the project is set to begin next September. The entire line from Sacramento to San Diego could be up and running by 2020.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. Mad Mike says:

    Lets see: BART runs most of the time in the red. Ditto with CalTrain and AmTrack. So yes, by all means let’s waste billions more on a project a fraction of the population will ever use because everyone who has a brain in his head travels by AIRPLANE when traveling long distance like to say, Los Angeles….

    1. 4sense says:

      Wow that’s deep Mike. Do our roads run in the red too? How about building world class transportation systems that work for Californians instead of whining? By the way, HSR will save CalTrain and position it to be a world class, high speed commuter rail system. So far as your airplane analogy, when was the last time you traveled from the Central Valley by airplane to Northern or Southern Cal? As for Amtrak….packed to capacity San Diego to LA, running antiquated equipment on limited capacity tracks.

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