Gov. Rick Scott weighs pros and cons of high speed rail in Florida

6:37 PM, Jan 6, 2011   |    comments
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High speed train maker Siemens brought this mock-up of its Velaro train to Tampa.
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Tallahassee, Florida -- The fate of a proposed high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando is in the hands of Gov. Rick Scott.

The federal government has already dedicated most of the money for the $2.6 billion project.  Florida would have to put up about $280 million of its own cash to make the project happen.

The plan could translate into new jobs for Florida, but the state is facing a budget deficit of more than $3 billion next year.

Scott says he's waiting for more information about the costs and hopes to make a decision next month.

"There's a feasibility study that's supposed to come out, a ridership study, that's going to give me more information.  I think it's in February, that's my understanding.  So at that point I want to go through and see what the feasibility is, what the actual cost to the state will be.  Also, I want to sit down with the companies that possibly want to run this and see which one of them is going to fund things if there are going to be operating losses."

Ohio and Wisconsin have already decided to reject high-speed rail money from the federal government.

Dave Heller

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