ORLANDO-For the second time in a week, the Florida Supreme Court has rejected a move by special-interest business groups to throw a high-speed rail system issue off the Nov. 7 ballot.

The court wants the state’s voters to decide the bullet-train proposal. Developers and landowners are monitoring the issue closely because hundreds of acres of rights-of-way land would be needed to build the $100 million system.

If approved by voters, the state would be compelled to break ground on the project by November 2003. Legislators would select the five largest urban areas comprising the bullet train route. Lawmakers would also decide the train mode–monorail, fixed rail or magnetic levitation.

C.C. Dockery, a retired Lakeland, FL businessman, paid for the petition drive that collected 500,000 signatures to get the bullet train issue on the ballot. Opponents argue conventional road projects would suffer budget cuts and trigger tax increases if the high-speed venture were built.

Developers and investors, however, anticipate unprecedented commercial development opportunities in and around the five bullet train stations.

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