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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Florida business organization to create HSR coalition


As Florida Gov. Rick Scott mulls whether the state will advance work on the Tampa-to-Orlando high-speed rail line, a Florida business organization is forming a coalition to advocate for high-speed rail.

Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), which supports high-speed rail in the state, is spearheading an effort to ensure the high-speed rail project remains on track, according to a press release. AIF is assembling a coalition comprising private-sector companies that are interested in working on the high-speed rail project.

“Given our continued budget shortfalls, concerns have been expressed over any expenditure of state dollars, including for rail,” said AIF President and Chief Executive Officer Barney Bishop III. “It is important to remember that while a match of $280 million is required in order to draw down the billions in federal dollars that are committed to this project, these dollars do not necessarily have to be state dollars and can come from the private sector.”

In addition, should construction costs exceed estimates or operating costs exceed revenue generated by ticket sales, the project’s operator would be responsible for offsetting those costs per contract requirements, AIF said.