Politicians and members of the business and labor community to rally for high speed rail in Tampa

The Florida Legislature met in a special session last month to approve a controversial plan to provide for commuter rail in Orlando, as well as provide funding for a South Florida rail project, ostensibly to show the Obama administration that the state is serious about high speed rail.

On Tuesday, local leaders in Tampa, including Mayor Pam Iorio and Congresswoman Kathy Castor, are scheduled to be among several officials who will be part of a news conference at Union Station in Tampa  designed to encourage local residents to contact the White House in support of the state’s high-speed rail application.

Also present will be Ed Turanchik with ConnectUS, as well as some unions and members of the business community.

At some point this winter the Transportation Department will decide on whether to approve over $2.5 billion in stimulus funds for such a project here in the sunshine state, with the first leg going from Tampa to Orlando.

Overall, it's part of $13 billion that the White House wants to dedicate to the proposal.  $8 billion was listed in the stimulus bill, as well as a separate five-year $5 billion investment in the suggested 2010 ballot, as reportedly led to 24 different states submitting 45 different applications for some of that booty.

Governor Charlie Crist and others said last month in advocating for the rail legislation to pass that it would create "thousands of jobs for Floridians."

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