ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Gov. Rick Scott has given his approval for Orlando's proposed commuter rail system.
Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad said Friday he expects the $1.2 billion project will be completed in early 2014.
The Republican governor had suspended it shortly after taking office last January, saying he wanted to study its feasibility and costs. The rail will connect downtown Orlando with Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties.
Opponents, led by Tea Party activists, claimed the commuter rail was a boondoggle whose operation costs would never justify the paltry ridership predicted in car-loving Orlando. Forecasts projected 2,500 people a day would initially use the line.
The state's share of the costs was expected to be $432 million to purchase 61.5 miles of track from CSX and another $66 million for operating subsidies.
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