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Mr. Sunshine casts more clouds on rail

by John Kennedy | March 2nd, 2011

Gov. Rick Scott made an early morning stop Wednesday at Fox & Friends’ New York studios and — again– said he’s not interested in $2.4 billion in federal cash for high-speed rail.

“The federal government gives you all this money, and you have to pay for it down the road,” Scott said, adding that he disputed ridership and job-creation statistics touted by rail promoters.

South Florida’s Tri-Rail doesn’t help convince him. Scott said Tri-Rail costs about $65 million annually to operate, but pulls in only about $10 million from fares.

A high-speed train linking Tampa to Orlando, “just doesn’t make sense for the taxpayers,” he concluded.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has asked federal officials for another weeklong extension for the state to reconsider. But Scott doesn’t sound like he needs more time to make up his mind.

A lawsuit was filed Tuesday against Scott by a pair of Florida state senators who say the governor doesn’t have the constitutional authority to stop the train. But Scott on TV Wednesday said the challenge, “doesn’t make any sense.”

After casting more clouds over high-speed rail, Scott segued easily into Mr. Sunshine – touting his five-city tour with Visit Florida officials wooing tourists to the state. Scott later today is expected to join a charter flight carrying 120 visitors from Chicago to Orlando.

“We’re getting our tourism industry going,” Scott insisted.

The state’s “share a little sunshine tour” is slated to end today. In his brief exchange with Fox host Steve Doocy, Scott acknowledged tourism in the Florida Panhandle was still struggling from last summer’s oil spill, but he also derided focus on the disaster as “sort of a media event.”

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12 Responses to “Mr. Sunshine casts more clouds on rail”

  1. young then Says:

    When trirail started, our pbcounty dept was told we ‘had’ to fill out the ridership surveys.
    the man i did not vote for, scott, is right that the ridership numbers are most likely fudged.

  2. Oh Please Says:

    High-Speed-to-Insolvency OR The Government DOES NOT create jobs. A MUST READ

  3. Beacher Says:

    Love that light, love that warmth; let that sun shine IN!

    Go Scott!

  4. JesUp Says:

    As LaHood said….Gov Scott doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  5. same ol same ol Says:

    Have said this before — I held my nose when voting for this guy back in Nov.

    It now appears to have been a good decision.

    Any politician with the wherewithal and guts to tell lobbyists to f-off
    is probably going to be a winner for us struggling to survive supportive

    GO, GO, GO Governor Sunshine!

  6. loxboy Says:

    Ask the senators who want the train to show the people where the jobs are coming from. 55,000 jobs??? explain please!!

  7. Sid Says:

    Go Governor Scott!!!
    President Obama wants us to borrow money we don’t have from countries we don’t like to build trains we won’t ride.
    The current TriRail taxpayer subsidy is $120.00 for every rider on every roundtrip.

  8. Plead the 5th 75 Times Says:

    “Governor Sunshine”, is that some kind of joke? He is after all the governor who has trampled all over the state’s Sunshine Laws in his first few months in office.

  9. SR Says:

    Take a look at who the contributors to the state senators who are backing high-speed rail are. Unions, CSX and other rail companies. They are selling out the taxpayers. Tri-Rail and Amtrak have been nothing but taxpayer-funded boondoggles and payoffs to unions. The proposed high-speed rail would be more of the same.
    Governor Scott is 100% right to say “NO” to the federal money.

  10. Unreal Says:

    Come on John. I know you are new at the Post and have years of experience but ‘Mr. Sunshine?’ Very unprofessional start for you making up a name for the governor. try to keep your own personal biased out of your reporting. If we wanted commentary we can read the editorial section. Just the facts please.

  11. ghinhee Says:

    How will I get to the train station? If I drive will there be enough parking? Will the train station be as large as an airport considering the passenger level? How about security? How will it take me from my house to my destination via rail? How long will it take me via auto?

  12. Mike Says:

    How many government funded railroads are currently making money? I think the govenor is a wise man.

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