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Rail News: High-Speed Rail

Florida governor signs high-speed, commuter-rail bill into law


Yesterday, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed into law a bill that “provides a comprehensive framework for Florida’s current and future passenger-rail system,” according to a press release. That framework includes high-speed rail.

The legislation calls for funding Orlando’s proposed SunRail commuter-rail project, as well as the existing Tri-Rail system. The bill “solidifies Florida’s commitment to expanding passenger-rail service throughout the state and lays the groundwork for the Tampa-Orlando-Miami high-speed rail program,” Crist said. Florida has applied for $2.6 billion in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act fund for the Tampa-Orlando segment of the line.

The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority plans to develop commuter-rail connections throughout the Tampa Bay area once the high-speed rail line is developed.

In addition, the legislation creates the Florida Statewide Rail Commission, which will advise the Florida Department of Transportation and legislature on the development and operation of Florida’s passenger-rail systems. It also creates the Florida Rail Enterprise within FDOT to oversee all state-owned passenger-rail systems.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/17/2009