A seminar on high speed rail (HSR) development in Florida took place at the Eden Roc Hotel and Conference Center in Miami on Friday, May 7.
Entitled “Fostering Economic Development in Florida through High Speed Rail – What Florida Can Draw From the French Experience,” the event was organized by the Beacon Council, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the College of Business Administration of Florida International University, with the support of the French Embassy in the United States. The seminar was made possible through the sponsorship of Alstom Transportation, SNCF and SYSTRA Consulting Inc.
More than 100 people attended the seminar, which featured 17 speakers, among whom the Honorable Corrine Brown, Chairwoman, Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials, US House of Representatives, and Anne-Marie Idrac, French Foreign Trade Minister. Jerry Haar, Associate Dean of the College of Business Administration at Florida International University, moderated the seminar.
The speakers focused on a number of key issues such as technology, job creation, infrastructure and the environment, all of which were envisioned bearing Florida’s specific context in mind. They stressed that besides being eco-friendly, a well-conceived HSR system would also prove reliable, profitable and benefit the Sunshine State’s economic growth. Indeed, in addition to the thousands jobs required by its construction, such a system would attract both companies and jobs to Florida. France’s long-standing experience in that matter could help design a train network able to best answer the State’s needs. Thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, plans for HSR in Florida have gained political momentum, providing a fresh opportunity to overcome the very financial and political obstacles that prevented past projects from being implemented.
“Much like Florida pioneered space exploration in the 60s, the State could now make HSR its new 21st century frontier,” Mrs. Idrac concluded.
For more information, please contact:
FRENCH TECHNOLOGY PRESS OFFICE
205 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 3740
Chicago, IL 60601
Tel.: (312) 327-5260