Since an additional $2.4 billion was made available by the Department of Transportation for high speed rail projects, over 90 applications from 24 states have been received.
Amtrak and the District of Columbia also applied for the federal funding, making the preliminary total for these requests over $10 billion.
The U.S. Secretary for Transportation Ray LaHood has said in his blog that this is because elected officials “have seen the immediate benefits of jobs.”
He says these benefits have been seen “in Illinois where 96 miles of track are now being laid for the Chicago-St. Louis high speed corridor.”
“From Maine to the Midwest to California, construction has begun on America’s high speed rail facilities, and we can’t afford to see this train turn back.”
LaHood claims that without high speed rail “our commercial arteries will be constricted, preventing businesses from moving goods to markets and choking our economy.”
The Federal Railroad Administration will begin determining which projects out of the 90 submitted can deliver the most benefits such as sustained economic development, reduced energy consumption and improved regional transportation efficiency.