Senator Reid Welcomes Secretary LaHood to Announce Extension of California High-Speed Rail Corridor to Las Vegas
July 2, 2009
LAS VEGAS, NV — U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, along with Nevada Senator Harry Reid, key members of the Nevada labor community, business leaders and other elected officials, announced today an agreement between the states of California and Nevada to extend the California High-Speed Rail corridor from the Los Angeles area to the Las Vegas.
“The extension of the California corridor is another great example of regional cooperation, which will be critical to transforming travel in America and the creation of a national system of high-speed rail lines,” said Secretary LaHood. “We will continue to encourage new and innovative partnerships like this one. We believe that the development of regional high-speed passenger rail systems will create jobs, spur economic development, and provide positive environmental benefits for all Americans.”
Senator Reid praised the potential benefits of the Nevada-California cooperation. “Today we’ve taken a giant step towards strengthening Nevada’s economy,” Reid said. “High-speed rail not only provides a much needed means of transportation that will reduce congestion on I-15, but it will also create jobs at a time when Nevada needs them the most, increase tourism and reduce our reliance on foreign oil.”
“This partnership is a win-win for California, Nevada and the future of high-speed rail in America,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was unable to attend the event due to the California budget. “While harnessing the power of public-private partnerships, this line will not only improve commerce between California and Nevada, stimulate the California economy and reduce pollution and traffic but also eventually link with Metrolink and California's statewide high-speed rail system - establishing a truly regional passenger rail system. We look forward to working with Secretary LaHood and Senator Reid in making this partnership a success and this rail corridor a reality.”
In April, President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary LaHood announced the effort to transform the nation’s transportation system by developing rail infrastructure and launching high-speed passenger rail services in 100-600 mile corridors that connect U.S. communities.
The Obama Administration is moving fast to put in place this ambitious and important agenda. Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), which included an $8 billion High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) highly-competitive grant program. The President has proposed a continuing $1 billion annual investment in high-speed rail.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a strategic plan for high-speed rail and recently announced guidelines for states and groups of states to apply for the economic recovery funds. DOT expects to announce the first round of merit-based grants in the fall.
To learn more about President Obama’s vision for high-speed rail in America, go to: http://www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/31