Brightline West’s $12 billion high-speed rail project will be a fully electric, zero-emission system to become one of the greenest forms of transportation in the U.S.  -  Photo: Brightline West

Brightline West’s $12 billion high-speed rail project will be a fully electric, zero-emission system to become one of the greenest forms of transportation in the U.S.

Photo: Brightline West

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approved $2.5 billion in private activity bonds authority allocated for the Brightline West High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail project connecting Las Vegas and Southern California.

DOT previously approved a private activity bond allocation of $1 billion for Brightline West in 2020, bringing the total allocation for this project to $3.5 billion.

In December, DOT also awarded a $3 billion grant from President Biden’s infrastructure law to the Nevada Department of Transportation for this project. In June, DOT awarded a $25 million grant to San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Program that will be used for the construction of the Brightline West stations in Hesperia and Victor Valley, Calif.

“As the first true high-speed rail system in America, Brightline West will serve as the blueprint for connecting cities with fast, eco-friendly passenger rail throughout the country,” said Brightline Founder and Chairman Wes Edens. “Connecting Las Vegas and Southern California will provide wide-spread public benefits to both states, creating thousands of jobs and jumpstarting a new level of economic competitiveness for the region. We appreciate the confidence placed in us by DOT and are ready to get to work.”

The Brightline West Project

The 218-mile, high-speed rail line will primarily run along the I-15 median with trains capable of reaching 186 mph or more, cutting the trip to two hours — half the time to travel by car.

Brightline West’s $12 billion high-speed rail project will be a fully electric, zero-emission system to become one of the greenest forms of transportation in the U.S. The project will bolster tourism, create 35,000 good-paying jobs, ease traffic on I-15, and cut more than 400,000 tons of carbon pollution each year.

“Today, the Biden-Harris administration takes the next step to fulfill the promise of high-speed rail in the American West, with $2.5 billion in private activity bond authority to  lay tracks, create jobs, and connect American cities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “President Biden’s historic infrastructure package gives us the opportunity to build safe, green, and accessible rail systems that will deliver benefits to the American people for generations to come.”

West Coast High-Speed Rail

Brightline West and the California High-Speed Rail project form the building blocks of a planned West Coast Corridor connecting Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

California is scheduled to complete its first 171-mile operating segment in the Central Valley between 2030 and 2033, which also will be the world’s first solar-powered bullet train.

Once the West Coast Corridor is up and running, it will carry over 40 million riders every year, on trains traveling at sustained speeds of 186 miles per hour, connecting America’s biggest regional economy with true high-speed rail on a par with those seen across Asia and Europe.

Adding to the West Coast Corridor, the High Desert Corridor project, which will connect Brightline West and California High Speed Rail between Palmdale and Victorville, has over $1 billion in committed funds from L.A. County and is moving through the environmental permitting process.

Continued Passenger Rail Investment

To date, the Biden-Harris Administration has announced nearly $31 billion in unprecedented investments for our nation’s rail system, the most significant investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak.

Including the new Railroad Crossing Elimination (RCE) program grants and Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grants announced last year, President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda is laying the foundation for a safe and modern rail network.

About the author
Alex Roman

Alex Roman

Executive Editor

Alex Roman is Executive Editor of METRO Magazine — the only magazine serving the public transit and motorcoach industries for more than 100 years.

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