Real estate in the New York metro area will likely reap much of the benefits of $2 billion in federal funding that Florida Gov. Rick Scott turned down when he canceled the state’s planned high-speed rail project between Tampa and Orlando earlier this year.
According to the Associated Press, the money has been reallocated to rail projects in 15 states, with the largest portion being funneled into the heavily-traveled Northeast Corridor region, including Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and Long Island Rail Road lines. Close to $800 million will go toward making trains faster, improving electrical lines and improving reliability in the region, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today.
Urban planners and the New York real estate industry have been lobbying hard for federal transportation funds, particularly after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie canceled a $9.9 billion Hudson River rail project that would have doubled the commuter rail capacity between New York City and New Jersey. Christie had argued that the potential cost overruns were too much for the state to bear, while critics said he had ruined an opportunity for billions of dollars worth of property value boosts.
The U.S. Department of Transportation said it received 90 applications seeking a total of $10 billion for Florida’s rejected funds after it opened up the bidding to other states. [AP via Palm Beach Post]