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Fla. to vote on future of bullet train

(The Associated Press circulated the following article on July 30.)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A move to kill a multibillion-dollar bullet train project will be put before the voters in November.

The state announced Thursday that the measure had received enough signatures to get onto the ballot.

Gov. Jeb Bush helped lead the campaign to kill the project, arguing that the state cannot afford the train.

Voters in 2000 approved a ballot measure ordering the state to build a high-speed train. The first leg -- estimated to cost $2.3 billion -- would run from Orlando to Tampa; construction could begin next summer. The system eventually would connect Tampa and Orlando with Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

``Now that the enormous costs are well-known, I am confident the people will remove this boondoggle from their constitution in November,'' Bush said.

The repeal measure gathered 499,610 verified signatures; 488,722 were needed to make the ballot, according to the state Division of Elections.

A state panel has estimated that killing the project would save from $42 billion to $51 billion over 30 years. Supporters have criticized the analysis as inaccurate.

Friday, July 30, 2004

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