So says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
“If Texas had had its act together, it would have gotten some high-speed rail money,” the Obama administration Cabinet official told reporters.
Thirty-one states shared $8 billion in rail grants from the 2009 economic stimulus package last week. The only money Texas received was a $4 million grant for planning a project in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“We based our decision on where the money could be well-spent and jump-start opportunities around the country,” LaHood said.
“Unless a state or region has its act together, with (local) money, with a good plan that connects things, they’re not going to be in the high-speed rail business,” he said.
Well, let’s be honest. If we’re going to have a chance in the next round, we’re going to need a different Governor, because this is not a priority for the current one. And we’ll need some changes in the culture at TxDOT. Getting stuff through the Lege is always a challenge, and the 2011 session will be a lousy time to try to fund new projects, but beyond those things I don’t think there are any unique obstacles there. In other words, it’s going to take a lot of things going right, and even then it’ll be hard. But other than that, piece of cake.