On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced that the Federal Railroad Administration has received 278 pre-applications, totaling $102 billion, for the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail competitive grant program. The money will come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
"The response has been tremendous and shows that the country is ready for high-speed rail," Secretary LaHood said. "It's time to look beyond our highways and invest in public transportation services like rail, which will enhance regional mobility and reduce our carbon footprint."
Pre-applications by region:
Total Number of Pre-applications Submitted: 79
Total Requested Funds: $35 billion
Total Number of Pre-applications Submitted: 44
Total Requested Funds: $16 billion
Total Number of Pre-applications Submitted: 47
Total Requested Funds: $13 billion
Total Number of Pre-applications Submitted: 108
Total Requested Funds: $38 billion
While not all proposed projects can be funded, the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) will work with states and regions to identify priorities and prepare for ongoing high-speed passenger rail development.
The US DOT issued a strategic plan for high-speed rail in April 2009, followed by guidelines for states and groups of states to apply for the economic recovery money in June 2009. It expects to announce the first round of merit-based grants in the fall.
The final application deadline is August 24 for funding on individual projects and planning, and October 2 for corridor programs.