This week, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) submitted 42 applications for a total of $1.1 billion as part of the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program, which makes $8 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds available to build projects on 11 high-speed and intercity rail corridors routes throughout the nation.
The statewide application included a $340 million request to advance 18 intercity rail projects in Southern California that would connect to high-speed rail, including six projects in Orange County totaling $152 million.
"Improving rail service has been a priority for decades. We greatly appreciate the support of the state and federal government in recognizing how critical viable transportation options are for Southern Californians," said Orange County Transportation Authority Chairman Peter Buffa.
The proposed projects will lay the foundation for higher train speeds, while also significantly improving the reliability and safety of passenger rail service. In addition, the improvements will provide intercity rail passengers in Orange and San Diego counties with faster, more convenient access to the California high-speed rail system through a connection at the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC).
The state's top priority was a $35.2 million project to help implement positive train control systems on all publicly owned rail lines between Ventura County and San Diego County.
California also plans to request $3.4 billion in October for a second round of funding for the Anaheim to Los Angeles segment of the California high-speed rail project. The high-speed rail line would connect to Anaheim via ARTIC.
Grant awards for the first round of stimulus funding are expected by October.