Friday, February 12, 2010
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
While surrounding states have received billions in 2010 to fund high-speed rail projects, the state of Georgia received a measly $750,000. When asked why, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, "Georgia doesn't have its act together. Any region that got money had their act together."
In Charlotte, N.C., funding was received for high-speed rail transportation from Charlotte to Washington, D.C., with a stop in Richmond. I can only imagine the economic advantage that Charlotte will have over Atlanta. In Florida, high-speed rail will connect Tampa to Orlando and Miami, providing fast and reliable transportation for thousands of commuters.
When will Georgia get its act together? We've been talking about the Brain Train for years, and it remains just talk. The Brain Train would connect all of our university campuses with high-speed rail from downtown Atlanta to Athens. It would include 12 stops, four of which are in Gwinnett County. It is estimated to serve up to 10,000 commuters each day. In a metro area where the average commute is 30 minutes to an hour each way, can you imagine taking thousands of cars each day off our highways?
Studies show it would not only remove more than 5,000 cars per day from our interstates but it is also 25 times safer than driving. Our governor's plan to address transportation issues is to add another sales tax.
Let me get this straight: Other states are receiving billions in transportation funding, while we as Georgians are being asked to pay more in sales taxes to fund our projects. Wake up, Gov. Sonny Perdue. We didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday.