A new mode of U.S. transportation came one step closer to reality on Thursday, Jan. 28, when the Obama administration announced the recipients of nearly $8 billion in stimulus grants that will help seed the planning and construction of high-speed rail corridors.
At a town-hall meeting in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, President Barack Obama joined Vice President Joe Biden in discussing that initiative, which Biden said would spur new jobs, improve existing rail infrastructure, reduce the number of vehicles traveling on congested highways and keep the country on level ground with competitors.
"It's a down payment on a truly national program that will change the way we travel," Biden said.
The funds were divided among 13 travel corridors that touch 31 states. Biden said the administration is committed to providing $5 billion more for the projects over the next five years. The high-speed rail line will move passengers at speeds of 170 to 230 mph, although completed projects are several years, if not decades, away.
National Summary of Selected Projects:
- Eugene-Portland-Seattle-Vancouver, B.C. = $598 million
- California High-Speed Rail = $2.25 billion
- California Existing Intercity Passenger Rail = $93 million
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