More fed funds may be available for high-speed rail plans

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

From an article in The Milwaukee Business Journal:

Although opponents are still trying to stop a high-speed rail project between Milwaukee and Madison in its tracks, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced this week that it is making even more federal dollars available for states to plan additional rail lines.

The FRA said it will begin accepting applications this week for $115 million in planning and construction project funds for more high-speed intercity passenger rail.
Wisconsin could apply for some of that additional federal money to help with the planning to extend the line to the Twin Cities.

The agency will make available $50 million in planning project funds appropriated under the U.S. Department of Transportation fiscal 2010 budget and approximately $65 million in residual construction project funds appropriated under its 2009 budget.
“We are excited to move forward the President's vision on high-speed rail and are working quickly to get funding in the hands of states,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

“We look forward to working with states to lay the groundwork for their high-speed rail programs and also help other states get specific projects off the ground so that jobs can be created in the near-term,” said FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo. “These funds supplement the President’s initial down payment on high-speed rail and represent a commitment to developing a world-class transportation network.”
Applications and proposals for the funds will be due back to FRA by May 19, with selection announcements to be made over the summer.