The Department of Transportation announced more than $2 billion for BrightLine West high-speed rail from Los Angeles to Las Vegas

The Department of Transportation announced more than $2 billion for BrightLine West high-speed rail from Los Angeles to Las Vegas

The federal government is doubling down on high-speed rail by announcing it is helping raise $2.5 billion for the Brightline West project.

This comes in addition to a massive $3 billion federal grant announced in December. Brightline is the country’s only private high-speed rail company, and the cash infusion represents a significant amount of the projected $12 billion cost of building high-speed rail between Las Vegas and Southern California.

Illustration of the Brayline train between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Bright line

The government will support the issuance of bonds on behalf of the project. These bonds will receive special interest and tax benefits for those who buy them. It is a good way for local and state governments to raise money for large projects.

Service on Brightline West could begin in 2028, in time for Los Angeles to host the Summer Olympics. Once completed, trains on the 218-mile route will transport passengers between Southern California and Vegas at speeds of up to 186 mph.

Billboards are already up on Las Vegas Boulevard promoting the new service.

Brightline West will run primarily along Interstate 15, with trains able to cut the trip down to two hours — half the travel time by car.

Brightline West route map between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Bright line

According to the US Department of Transportation, it will be an all-electric, zero-emission system and will become one of the greenest forms of transportation in the United States. The Ministry of Transport also says the project will create up to 35,000 jobs.

RELATED: Money flowing for high-speed rail and other train improvements

“Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking the next step to deliver on the promise of high-speed rail in the American West, with $2.5 billion in private activity bonds to lay tracks, create jobs, and connect America’s cities,” the Department of Transportation said. Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a press release. “President Biden’s historic infrastructure package gives us the opportunity to build safe, green, and accessible rail systems that will provide benefits to the American people for generations to come.”

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The Department of Transportation previously approved a $1 billion special activity bond allocation to Brightline West in 2020, bringing the total allocation for this project to $3.5 billion.

“As America’s first true high-speed rail system, Brightline West will serve as a blueprint for connecting cities with fast, environmentally friendly rail for passengers across the country,” Wes Eddins, founder and CEO of BrightLine, said in a statement.

RELATED: Bright Line to Connect Los Angeles and Las Vegas

The Biden administration announced nearly $31 billion in rail investments, the most significant investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak.

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