By Keith Laing - 07/19/11 08:23 PM EDT
As proponents in central Florida did when Scott wavered on the long-sought project, LaHood touted the job-creation potential of the railway. SunRail will create 11,000 jobs during construction and 150,000 jobs after it is up and running, LaHood said, all in a swing state that has been racked with high employment.
"In a region that's been hit hard by tough economic times, those jobs are a welcome blessing," he said.
Transportation officials in Washington and Florida had hoped to make the SunRail trains connect to the proposed Tampa-to-Orlando high-speed rail that Scott killed shortly after he took office. The train was envisioned as the centerpiece of a nationwide network of railways, but Scott joined two other newly elected governors in rejecting money from the Obama administration to build them.