No Rails. No Ports. No Future

I apologize ahead of time for the merciless quoting. But it’s worth it because – I think deliberately – the Times sandbags Scott’s idiotic plans for our state with a master-stroke of smart journalism.

As he stiff-armed the Obama administration’s offer of $2.4 billion for high-speed rail, Gov. Rick Scott embraced a far less sexy alternative: lumbering cargo ships.

Although the state is surrounded by water, Florida faces serious challenges to growing its port business.

…at the southern tip of the state, ports in Miami and Fort Lauderdale are too far from rail lines to supply the rest of Florida and the Southeast, Poole said…

Florida also lacks the huge retail distribution centers clustered around Atlanta and fed by Savannah’s port. “Atlanta is the distribution hub of the Southeast,” Vitner said. “Florida doesn’t have anything that rivals it.”

Once goods arrive at a Florida port, their movement further inland is often constrained by poor road connections and limited rail access. Miami has secured grants for on-dock rail and is working to connect to the Florida East Coast Railway, said assistant port director Kevin Lynskey.

How many times can one imply that poor rail access is the reason Florida’s ports can’t take more traffic?

Not enough times. I love the bitter, cold and deeply cynical laughter that comes from just about anything Rick Scott touches.



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