The U.S. Department of Transportation announced today that 54 high-speed rail projects in 23 states would "share in $2.4 billion to continue developing America's first nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger rail service." DOT allocated much of the money to California and Florida, $901 million and $800 million, respectively.
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an initial down payment of $8 billion
was set aside for high-speed rail. When it was announced, applicants during the first round of awards last fall submitted project proposals totaling $55 billion. This time, the Federal Railroad Administration received 132 applications from 32 states totaling $8.8 billion, surpassing not only the $2.4 billion made available in this round, but also the entire allocated amount for nationwide development.
"Demand for high-speed rail dollars is intense and it demonstrates just how important this historic initiative is," according to a statement from DOT secretary Ray LaHood. "States understand that high-speed rail represents a unique opportunity to create jobs, revitalize our manufacturing base, spur economic development and provide people with an environmentally friendly transportation option."
Others that received a portion of the $2.4 billion are Iowa ($230 million) and Michigan ($161 million).