Fate of Florida Commuter Rail Line Up to Governor
SUNRAIL DECISION: Governor Rick Scott is expected to announce his decision on the fate of SunRail, a planned commuter rail line in central Florida , by the end of the week, writes the St. Petersburg Times . Scott, who already rejected federal funding for high-speed rail between Orlando and Tampa, is now letting local governments know that they would be on the hook for cost overruns on the Sunrail project. His transportation secretary told a group of local officials that the state could take the amount of the overruns out of their normal allotment of transportation funds.
HOV SHUTDOWN: The likely shutdown of Minnesota state government in a budget impasse could mean traffic headaches for commuters who rely on carpool lanes, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune . During rush hour, the lanes will still be available to cars with multiple passengers, but not to solo drivers who normally pay an extra fee to use them. Transportation officials told drivers that, without a budget, they have no authority to collect the extra fees. The lanes typically generate $7,000 to $8,000 a day, according to the paper.
CLEAN-FUEL ZONE: When California originally imposed clean-fuel regulations on oceangoing vessels docking in the Los Angeles area, captains responded by steering their ships farther from the shore and avoiding the waters where the rules applied. But after complaints from the U.S. Navy about the traffic shift, the California Air Resources Board voted to expand the clean fuel area, writes the Los Angeles Times . The board estimated that using the cheaper, more polluting bunker fuel had saved ships roughly $6,000 a trip.
IMMIGRANT LICENSES: New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez is not taking "no" for an answer in her bid to end the state's practice of allowing illegal immigrants to drive legally. After the legislature rejected her efforts to stop the practice outright, Martinez now wants the state to limit the types of documents drivers can present in order to get a license, something her administration can do without the legislature, writes the (Santa Fe) New Mexican. According to Martinez, more than a third of requests for appointments at New Mexico's drivers facilities are from out-of-state telephone numbers.