SunRail issue could put Governor Scott at odds with his Tea Party fans

TAMPA - The Tea Party cheered when Governor Rick Scott put the brakes on high speed rail in Florida. Now the Governor is on the verge of possibly approving SunRail, a commuter rail project proposed for Central Florida.

"We're going through and making sure that if it goes forward that it's a project the community wants and makes economic sense.  I'll be making a decision later this week," said Governor Scott .

On the face of it, Scott should be strongly opposed to SunRail, a 61 mile rail line that will connect Orlando to surrounding counties. Like the high speed rail project Scott scuttled in February, SunRail would require Florida to accept federal money and would put taxpayers on the hook for even more money than the bullet train.

"We'll see what he has to say. I mean, that's what we're waiting for," said Tea Party leader Sharon Calvert. She and other tea party members would be disappointed if Scott failed to stop this and any other rail project in the state.

"Every rail system in the country relies on huge tax subsidies to keep on going. SunRail isn't any different" said Calvert.

SunRail has long been controversial because of the massive payments that would be paid to private rail company CSX for use of it's existing tracks. And while the Tea Party is urging Scott to cancel SunRail, business and political leaders including Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer are urging him to support it.

Scott is not tipping his hand.  "I got elected to make the best decision I can and that's what I'm going to do."

Print this article Back to Top