The government of Florida rejected federal funding for high-speed rail. The same is true for Ohio and Wisconsin. I can't wrap my mind around this — if someone else is paying, why reject basic infrastructure? The governor of Florida said:
First, he predicted construction cost overruns would put Florida taxpayers on the hook for $3 billion.
Secondly, he said, low ridership would have required state subsidies.
And finally, he said, if the project was shut down, the state would have to return the $2.4 billion to Washington.
These statements are contested; for example, the article goes on:
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Transportation, though, said the state wouldn't necessarily have had to pay back the money and the issue could have been negotiated if Scott had ever raised it with federal officials.
As to his first two concerns, bid documents being prepared by state transportation officials would have required companies bidding on the project to cover the state's obligation, as well as any construction cost overruns and operating losses due to low ridership. Companies had indicated they were willing to accept those terms.
Considering that these facts are not agreed upon, were other arguments made by critics of the funding that are not being disputed by its proponents?