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FRA receives 77 applications for $8.5 billion in high-speed rail funding

(The U.S. Department of Transportation issued the following on August 16, 2010.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an overwhelming show of support for the Administration’s high-speed rail initiative, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today announced that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has received 77 applications from 25 states for the most recent round of High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) grant funding. Application requests total more than $8.5 billion and will be considered for funding from more than $2.3 billion appropriated in FY 2010.

This is in addition to the $8 billion appropriated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) as a down payment for the HSIPR program.

“The response to our call to transform America’s transportation landscape has been tremendous and shows the country is ready for high-speed rail,” Secretary LaHood said. “We have received strong bi-partisan support for President Obama’s bold initiative that will enhance regional mobility, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, ease highway and airport congestion and reduce our carbon footprint.”

FRA received 20 applications from 10 states totaling $7.8 billion for high-speed rail corridor development programs. FRA also received 57 applications from 18 states totaling $700 million for smaller, individual projects within rail corridors that are ready to begin construction. While not all proposed projects can be funded, the Department will evaluate the applications to identify the projects that will deliver the greatest public benefits and give American taxpayers the highest return on their investment.

“These historic investments will allow states to take the next step in making their high-speed intercity passenger rail development plans a reality,” said FRA Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. “The states and FRA have been working hard to establish a solid foundation for a long-term program that will reshape our transportation system.”

Total funding to date for the HSIPR program comes from several sources:

-- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: $8 billion.
-- FY2009 appropriations and remaining funds from a related FY 2008 appropriations funded program: $95 million.
-- FY2010 appropriations: $2.125 billion (HSIPR service development projects), $245 million (HSIPR individual projects), and $50 million (HSIPR planning and multi-state proposal activities).

Grant selections for the $2.345 billion in FY2010 appropriations are intended to help states further develop their corridor plans. From this amount, $245 million has been reserved for individual projects within a corridor that is ready to begin construction. Recipients of this funding will be announced in the fall of 2010.

To date, FRA has awarded more than $583 million to states for HSIPR.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

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