Congresswoman Brown to Serve as Key Member of Newly Created High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Caucus

Nov. 26, 2018
Congresswoman Brown delivered the following statement at the press conference ...

The following information was released by the office of Florida Rep. Corrine Brown:

Congresswoman Brown delivered the following statement at the press conference:

I want to thank everyone for joining us today. Im Congresswoman Corrine Brown from Florida, the current Ranking Member on the Railroad Subcommittee.

I spoke earlier today at the American Public Transportation Association event and got everyone energized to start educating their members on just how important public transportation is in moving our economy and our country forward.

We held a Transportation and Infrastructure hearing in Central Florida yesterday and the panelists were downright hostile to public transportation. A representative from the road builders suggested that we concentrate only on highways in the next reauthorization and that we shouldnt spend money on transit, traffic enhancements, or even sidewalks.

We cant have a transportation system in America that isnt comprehensive, and that includes a strong passenger rail component. Thats exactly why we need caucuses like this, to educate members who dont really understand how transportation works in America.

We need strong leadership on transportation issues, and I know this first hand from my home state of Florida.

Everyone in Florida, except for the Governor, understands that we cant just add another lane to I-4. The people of Florida need and deserve an alternative transportation option that takes them out of congested traffic and gets them to work in an efficient and environmentally friendly way.

Unfortunately, the state is suffering from a serious lack of leadership. As other urban regions are increasingly turning to passenger rail as a solution to moving their citizens, our state repeatedly refuses the assistance to do the same for the people of Central Florida. Nowhere is this more evident than Governor Scotts lack of vision in refusing to accept funding for high speed rail. With the help of the federal government, the door is still open for high speed rail for our state.

Beyond a doubt, a high speed rail line would be of tremendous benefit to the state of Florida, both for the states infrastructure as well as for job creation. As was clearly demonstrated in a study released earlier this week, the Tampa Orlando rail line would have had a more than $10 million operating surplus in its first year of operation alone. The study also went on to say that this line would have operated at a $28.6 million surplus by its 10th year; and an estimated 3.3 million riders in just the first year of operation.

With the unemployment rate in our state just under 12%, an investment in our states infrastructure of this magnitude would come at a most critical time, and serve as a tremendous boost towards getting Floridians back to work. The high speed rail plan for Florida served as a perfect example of a successful public-private partnership that would have created tens of thousands of jobs, estimates from Floridas DOT were as high as 48,000 and the business community estimated another 10,000 to 15,000 jobs as a result of economic development from the new rail line.

With that, Ill take any questions you may have.