A Miss on Rail Funding

Light Rail
TAMPA -

The Tampa Bay area may well be left standing on the sidelines as federal stimulus money goes to cities further ahead and already committed to light rail projects.

It appears that the federal economic recovery package will include money for Florida's Medicaid program, for tax cuts and for infra-structure projects - roads and bridges - that are 'shovel ready.'

'But the rail projects, I'm a little disappointed we don't have the light rail system ready to go,' lamented Congresswoman Kathy Castor of Tampa.

Castor is on the Energy and Commerce Committee and will help write the stimulus bill. She says they'll be looking for energy efficient projects.

'So all of the transit projects that are construction projects and providing energy independence from Middle East oil, they're going to do very well in this economic recovery package,' Castor said pointing out that transit monies in this stimulus package will likely go to communities like Portland, Charlotte and Phoenix that have mass transit projects ready.

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