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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Florida leaders form lobbying group to land federal dollars for Orlando-Tampa-Miami HSR line


Yesterday, state and local leaders in Florida announced they formed ConnectUs, an organization that aims to bring high-speed rail (HSR) to the Sunshine State.

ConnectUs officials are urging U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to award Florida $2.5 billion of the $13 billion in federal funds allocated for HSR, including $8 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars. The funds would help finance a HSR system between Orlando and Tampa and the design of an Orlando-to-Miami segment.

“Florida is a logical place to invest in high-speed rail and create thousands of jobs [because] we can connect major economic and tourism centers,” said Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.) in a prepared statement. “Unlike any other state, Florida has secured all of the right of way and permits, and is ready to go.”