Politifact
3:45 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Fact-Checking Who's Paying for All Aboard Florida

Credit politifact.com

Governor Rick Scott declined to accept federal money for a high speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando.

But Scott is supporting the All Aboard Florida project -- a rail line from Miami to West Palm Beach that could eventually reach Orlando.

The difference, Scott says, is that there's not government money involved in this rail project.

In an interview with the West Palm Beach TV station WPEC June 30, Scott said, "All Aboard is a 100 percent private venture. There is no state money involved."

"We called this mostly false," said Josh Gillin of PolitiFact Florida.

That's despite the fact that Gillin said, "it is a private venture. This is a private company."

So why the mostly false ruling?

"This all came about because his current Chief of Staff, Adam Hollingsworth -- who once was a transportation advisor for Scott's transition team -- spent a lot of time in 2011 and 2012 working for All Aboard Florida," Gillin said.

Once people started looking into that connection they found a lot of indirect government money involved in All Aboard Florida.

"They are benefiting from a couple of state programs," Gillin said. "One of those is a terminal at Orlando International Airport. To build that terminal, the project has been seeking $214 million in a loan and a grant from the state. All Aboard Florida wouldn't specifically get that money but they could benefit from it. Also the state has set aside $44 million for municipalities around the state to work on quiet zones around rail crossings. That doesn't specifically name All Aboard Florida but they would benefit from it."