Clang Clang: High Demand for High-Speed Rail Funds

April 7, 2011 | By Liza Casabona | Post a Comment

Looks like Florida was in the minority in its rejection of high-speed rail funds earlier this year. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood issued a statement yesterday saying that the Department of Transportation had received more than 90 applications for the orphaned funds.

LaHood said, “we are one step closer to delivering an innovative, national transportation network that brings new jobs and economic opportunity to the American people. Since I announced the availability of an additional $2.4 billion for high-speed rail projects, governors and members of Congress have been clamoring for the opportunity to participate. That’s because they know that high-speed rail will deliver tens of thousands of jobs, spur economic development across their communities and create additional options for their citizens as the country’s population grows.”

LaHood went on to say that the department had received 90 applications from 24 states, Washington, D.C. and Amtrak, totaling close to $10 billion in requested funds. (Amtrak’s request was for projects in the Northeast corridor.)

In a blog post yesterday, LaHood said demand for the high-speed rail money was high because officials think rail projects help generate jobs, boost manufacturing and spur economic development.

The application deadline was Monday and the Federal Railroad Administration has started reviewing applications. DOT said there is no date set for an announcement of awards.

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