States, Amtrak vying for Florida's rejected high-speed train money

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Federal transportation officials say 24 states, the District of Columbia and Amtrak are competing for $2.4 billion in high-speed rail money that was to have gone to a project in Florida.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement released Wednesday that his department is reviewing 90 rail project applications requesting a total of $10 billion.

The deadline for the applications was Monday.

Last month, LaHood took back the $2.4 billion that had been designated for a Florida project that would have connected Tampa and Orlando with high-speed trains. Gov. Rick Scott canceled the project, saying he didn’t want to obligate the state to make up any operating losses.

A state government report had forecast the project would be profitable.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.