What Rejecting High-Speed Rail Projects Means for Other States
Incoming governors in two states pledged they wouldn't move forward on implementing President Obama's high-speed rail efforts in their states. So the federal government is distributing their funds elsewhere.
The Department of Transportation announced that more than a billion dollars that had been allocated for high-speed rail projects in Wisconsin and Ohio are being clawed back and redistributed to other states.
The newly-elected governors of those states indicated they won't move forward with the projects, prompting the DOT's decision.
"Redirecting these funds will ensure American taxpayers get a good return on their Recovery Act dollars, and that money goes to projects that will be a success," the department wrote on its blog.
Last year's stimulus money provided $8 billion for high-speed rail projects. Originally, Wisconsin received $810 million for its Milwaukee-Madison high-speed corridor and Ohio got $400 million for its Cincinnati-Columbus-Cleveland route.
The Federal Railroad Administration is redirecting the entirety of Wisconsin's funds and $385 million of Ohio's money.
The money will now go to these states:
California: up to $624 million
Florida: up to $342.3 million
Washington State: up to $161.5 million
Illinois: up to $42.3 million
New York: up to $7.3 million
Maine: up to $3.3 million
Massachusetts: up to $2.8 million
Vermont: up to $2.7 million
Missouri up to $2.2 million
Wisconsin: up to $2 million for the Hiawatha line
Oregon: up to $1.6 million
North Carolina: up to $1.5 million
Iowa: up to $309,080
Indiana: up to $364,980
According to NationalJournal, Wisconsin Gov.-elect Scott Walker has said he would cancel the rail project due to its high maintenance costs. Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich opposed his state's high-speed rail project as well, but he advocated for the money to be redirected within Ohio rather than go elsewhere.