Another $2.5B in public funding has been announced for the Brightline West high speed rail project, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on Tuesday.
That’s in addition to the $1B in bonds the DOT invested in 2020 and the $3B from President Joe Biden’s infrastructure law late last year, bringing the total project budget to $6.5B.
“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,” US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.
The 218-mile rail line will connect Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga, from which Metrolink connections are available to L.A. as well as Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties. Construction is expected to begin this summer, with an eye to moving its first passengers to the 2028 Summer Olympics in L.A.
The project promises to create 35K construction jobs, reduce traffic on the I-15, and reduce carbon emissions by more than 400K tons a year.
“We appreciate the confidence placed in us by DOT and are ready to get to work,” Brightline founder and chair Wes Edens said in a statement. “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.”
The project’s latest funding comes in the form of private activity bonds. An alternative to corporate bonds, they allow governments to borrow on behalf of private companies.