DOT Allocates Nearly $80 Million for State High-Speed Rail Programs
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced that nearly $80 million in grants have been delivered to states as part of President Obama's high-speed and intercity passenger rail program. These grants will go toward the development of a new Recovery Act funded high-speed rail system in Florida as well as upgrades to existing passenger rail service throughout the country.
"Delivering these funds is an important step forward in our efforts to upgrade and transform America's transportation system, while spurring economic activity and creating jobs here at home," said Vice President Joe Biden. "Our unprecedented investment in high-speed and intercity passenger rail is not only going to provide real environmental benefits and greater convenience for travelers, but also long-term economic development for communities across the country."
"The President's vision for high-speed rail will forever change the way Americans travel by offering new transportation options," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "The grants released today are merely the very beginning of many more to follow."
The $80 million in funding will benefit projects in many regions of the country, including:
- More than $66 million for program management and preliminary engineering on the planned 168 mph high-speed rail service between Tampa and Orlando, Fla. This project is expected to create jobs and generate economic activity as 84 miles of track are constructed, stations are built or enhanced, and equipment is purchased. Along with California, Florida was the only state to submit plans to DOT to create a brand new, high-speed rail line.
- More than $6 million for track relocation work in California on the Capitol Corridor which will help bring about fewer delays and faster travel times along a route that connects San Francisco and Sacramento.
- More than $5 million for environmental assessments of planned new stations on the route between Milwaukee and Madison, Wis., that will host passenger rail service operating at speeds up to 110 mph.
- $1 million for planning projects to improve service on the Empire Corridor in New York. The 468-mile Empire Corridor connects all of New York's largest cities. The near-term vision for the corridor is to increase passenger train speeds to 110 mph.
- $100,000 for the creation of the first-ever rail plan for New Mexico. This plan will help the state create a blueprint for passenger rail development that will eventually link major cities in the Southwest.