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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Scott raps Tri-Rail while rejecting high-speed rail funding; but comparison is a bit flimsy



It's become Florida Gov. Rick Scott's version of a campfire ghost story: Stay away from high-speed rail, or you'll wind up with a huge money suck on your hands.

Just like Tri-Rail in South Florida.

Scott has repeatedly tried to draw parallels between the two rail systems, saying the 71-mile commuter train now running through Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties is hardly covering its costs. So why would the Orlando to Tampa system? Scott again drilled home the point during a national TV appearance Sunday, when he was asked to explain his decision to reject $2.4 billion in federal funding for the high-speed rail line.

"What I have said all along is our taxpayers aren't going to take the risk of the cost overrun in building it. It could be $3 billion ...," Scott told CNN's Candy Crowley. "We already have a train that goes from Palm Beach to Miami. Only one-sixth of the cost of operation is covered by the fares."

PolitiFact Florida deconstructs the comparison between the two systems.

[Last modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 5:10pm]


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