As All Aboard Florida becomes a topic of great discussion for families along Florida’s east coast, there are three important facts that must be part of this conversation:
• This is 100 percent a private-sector project, and no state dollars will go to All Aboard Florida.
• The Federal Railroad Administration is the lead agency over this project.
• We’re working hard to ensure Florida families have their voices heard on this important matter.
To help families have their voices heard, I have asked All Aboard Florida to extend its comment period to 90 days, and we asked the Federal Railroad Administration to extend the comment period for its environmental impact statement to a minimum of 90 days. Families have questions, and All Aboard Florida and federal officials have a responsibility in providing meaningful answers.
We’re also addressing concerns laid out by elected officials regarding funding quiet-zones for rail lines. While my proposed budget did not include this funding, legislators and local leaders worked to include this in the final state budget. Legislators and local leaders in communities that might be affected by All Aboard Florida and other rail transit systems wanted these state dollars to establish quiet zones in their areas. To better meet communities’ needs, I’ve asked Florida’s transportation secretary Ananth Prasad to meet with community leaders to see how this grant funding can best be used. These are not subsidies for All Aboard Florida, and if local leaders indicate they do not need the grant funding, we’ll take action to use these dollars for other priorities.
Gov. Rick Scott, Tallahassee