A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Nevada and California have united in the latest push for a new high-speed rail line that would connect the Los Angeles area with Las Vegas.
The lawmakers have asked the Biden administration to speed up the delivery of federal funds that would help a private company — Florida-based Brightline — begin laying the tracks for the proposed $10 billion project, called Brightline West.
U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen of Nevada is leading the group whosaid in a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation that the project would "help bolster Southern Nevada’s tourism economy and reduce congestion" on roadways.
The group said,"The unprecedented funding opportunity for intercity high-speed rail will unleash private investment at a critical moment for our nation, demonstrating the potential for public-private partnerships and planting a flag for American high-speed rail.”
Brightline has asked for $3.75 billion in federal cash connected to the Biden administration's federal infrastructure law. The Southern Nevada Building Trades Union would be used during construction of the railway.
Mike Reininger, CEO of Brightline Holdings LLC, said, “After more than a decade of working to find a pathway, Brightline West will be the first true high-speed rail system in America and will serve as the blueprint for how we can connect major city pairs that are too short to fly and too far to drive."
The lawmakers say the project will align with the Biden administration's climate improvement efforts to divert "millions of automobile users" from roadways in the region with the zero-emission transportation option.
The drive between Las Vegas and Las Angeles is around four and a half hours each way along the Interstate 15 route. The motorway often becomes jammed with traffic, especially as those visiting Las Vegas for a weekend away are returning to Southern California.
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