Today in Washington, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood unveiled the long-awaited guidelines that states and regions will use to compete for economic recovery funds for high-speed rail.
"The time has finally come for the United States to get serious about building a national network of high-speed rail corridors we can all be proud of," Secretary Ray LaHood said. "High-speed rail can reduce traffic congestion and link up with light rail, subways and buses to make travel more convenient and our communities more livable."
According to the LaHood's statement, the "guidelines...require rigorous financial and environmental planning to make sure projects are worthy of investment and likely to be successful."
President Obama announced his vision and his Administration's support for high-speed rail on April 16, 2009. The Administration has allocated $8 billion as part of the economic recovery package and another $1 billion for each of the subsequent five years.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration held meetings throughout the country this spring, including one in Seattle that coincided with Cascadia's Rail Week Conference. The Cascadia Corridor in the Northwest, is one of 10 corridors named by the Administration as possible recipients of federal funding for high-speed rail. The Cascadia Corridor and others around the country have to move fast -- the deadline for public comment and all pre-applications for funding is July 10.