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The political economy of high speed rail in Florida: 1981-present

Cohen, James (2016): The political economy of high speed rail in Florida: 1981-present.

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Cohen argues that the rise of neo-liberalism in the U.S. framed the failure of attempts to implement high speed rail in Florida between 1981 and 2011. In the 1980's rail promoters attempted, but were unable to apply neo-liberal precepts of financing new lines solely from sources of private capital, such as real estate development. Subsequently, financing plans based on both public and private funds were defeated by neo-liberal governors and their allies in Congress. As a result, the only new passenger line that appears likely to begin operations in Florida in the near future, is Florida East Coast Railway's Brightliner, which will operate at between 79 and 125 miles per hour, on existing freight rights of way between Miami and Orlando, with a possible future extension to Tampa. Cohen explains why this moderate speed line is likely to succeed, where prior attempts at high speed failed.

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