September 16, 2014

Federal HSR aid now tops $10 billion

A new round of federal funding will aid development of 54 separate high-speed rail lines in 23 states, says the Department of Transportation.

Those projects will share $2.4 billion in newly approved federal funding announced last week by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The new funding is on top of $8 billion provided last fall by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – federal funds earmarked for improved track and new passenger stations and equipment, as well as development of high-speed rail projects.

Much of the $2.4 billion in new funding goes to California ($901 million for a proposed high-speed rail line linking San Diego with Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento); and Florida ($715 million for a proposed high-speed rail line linking Tampa with Orlando and, eventually, Miami).

Some $230 million was awarded to Iowa for new passenger service between Iowa City and Chicago that will be jointly by Iowa Interstate Railroad and Amtrak; plus some $160 million awarded to Michigan for a high speed line linking Chicago and Detroit.