TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Charlie Crist submitted Florida’s high-speed rail proposal for a Tampa-Orlando-Miami route to the federal government Friday.
Crist wrote that approval by the end of this year would result in a contract by 2010 to implement the Tampa-Orlando leg.
Planning also then could proceed for an extension to Miami with the full system up and running by 2017.
The federal government plans to spend $8 billion in stimulus money on high-speed rail projects but the competition is expected to be fierce.
Walt Disney World is putting its weight behind the project. Disney officials said this week they will support a stop at the Orange County Convention Center, as well as provide up to 50 acres of free land for a station.
Tampa-area transportation leaders also are supporting the bid, saying the proposed rail service will fit in their plans for creating a regional transportation system.
The Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority’s master plan calls for a network of trains, bus routes, highways and water taxis that would connect high-speed rail passengers to anywhere within the seven-county region, the agency said.