High Speed Rail Panel At USF Green Expo Friday

10/09/09 Arielle Stevenson
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The University of South Florida hosted the second annual Going Green Tampa Bay Expo Friday in Tampa. Hundreds descended upon USF’s Marshall Center to learn more about sustainable technologies.

One of the many workshops presented was on hot button issue High Speed Rail. Anasi Hedad is an engineer with the Florida Department of Transportation. He has been working on producing a working high speed rail system in Florida for over thirty years.

The state’s application for 8 billion dollars in funding from the federal government to build high speed rail from Orlando to Tampa was filed October 2. An answer is expected by December. But Hedad says that the federal dollars Florida is key in making this project a reality.

Steve Polzin is the Director for USF’s Center for Urban and Transportation Research. He says that even with federal approval of the project, continual funding will be necessary in order to complete such a massive undertaking.

The issue of whether the high speed rail would extend to Tampa International Airport and other Tampa destinations is still uncertain. But Dr. Polzin says that most likely those destinations would be reached via a separate local light rail system in the future. Dr. Polzin made clear that all the upcoming mass transit proposals must have one element in common to function-utility.

Also part of Expo, was USF’s fourth annual campus and community sustainability conference and expo. The conference will continue tomorrow, to find out more visit sustainablefloridaconference.org.

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