U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood issued the following statement on Wednesday regarding the $2.4 billion available for High-Speed Rail:
“Today, we are another step closer to delivering an innovative, national transportation network that brings new jobs and economic opportunity to the American people. Since I announced the availability of an additional $2.4 billion for high-speed rail projects, governors and members of Congress have been clamoring for the opportunity to participate. That’s because they know that high-speed rail will deliver tens of thousands of jobs, spur economic development across their communities and create additional options for their citizens as the country’s population grows.
“We have received more than 90 applications from 24 states, the District of Columbia and Amtrak for projects in the Northeast Corridor, with preliminary requests totaling nearly $10 billion dollars. We are extremely pleased to see the bipartisan enthusiasm behind all of the requests to get into the high-speed rail business. Thanks to President Obama’s bold vision for a national high speed rail network, we will win the future for America.”
Showing bi-partisan support for President Obama’s High-Speed Rail program, 24 states, the District of Columbia and Amtrak (for projects in the Northeast Corridor) submitted just under $10 billion in funding requests. Additional state applicants included California; Michigan; Rhode Island; Connecticut; Minnesota; South Carolina; Missouri; Texas; Georgia and North Carolina.
The application period for the $2.4 billion of high-speed rail money closed on Monday. Now, the Federal Railroad Administration will begin its official review of the applications. A merit-driven process will be used to award the newly available high-speed rail dollars to projects that can deliver public and economic benefits quickly. A project’s ability to reduce energy consumption, improve the efficiency of a region’s overall transportation network and generate sustained economic activity along the corridor are among the selection criteria.
At this time, a date for the announcement of project selections has not been determined.
Information about the Notice of Funding Availability can be found here.