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Truth-O-Meter: Is Fla. Gov. Scott citing correct ridership numbers in rejecting high-speed rail funds?

(The following appeared at www.PolitiFact.com on February 16, 2011.)

In his stunning but not totally unexpected announcement to reject $2.4 billion in federal money for high-speed rail, Florida Gov. Rick Scott hammered on rosy ridership projections that he believed weren't attainable.

Scott said he was briefed on the most recent ridership studies that found 3.07 million riders would use the 84-mile rail line linking downtown Tampa to the Orlando International Airport. Previous studies said about 2.4 million riders would use the rail line in the first year.

In offering a reason for rejecting $2.4 billion in federal money for high-speed rail, Scott said the ridership projections were overly optimistic, and cited train service in the busy northeast corridor to prove his point. But Scott's reference to the high-speed Acela is only one form of service in that corridor, and he omitted the bigger chunk of Amtrak's passengers when comparing ridership. That's an important detail that would have added more context. We find this claim Half True.

The full story appears at www.PolitiFact.com.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

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