Biden Admin Sends Billions To California For Brightline West Rail Project

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – MAY 11: Passengers load up on the Brightline train at the Fort Lauderdale station during the inaugural trip from Miami to West Palm Beach on May 11, 2018 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
12:28 PM – Monday, December 11, 2023

The Biden Administration declared that it is sending $3 billion in federal taxpayer funds to California for the state’s high-speed rail project.


On Tuesday, the Biden Administration announced that it is sending California $3 billion in federal taxpayer funds for the Brightline West rail project, which covers a quarter of the cost for a high-speed rail line that is set to run from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Los Angeles, California.

Brightline, which is the nation’s only private passenger rail operator offering high-speed service, requested $3.75 billion to help with the project out of about $12 billion in costs. 

Advocates anticipate that the project will reduce emissions, ease traffic, and provide a more affordable means of transportation between Las Vegas and California. Every year, about 16 million people travel through the Mojave Desert on Interstate-15 toward Southern California from Las Vegas.

According to Brightline, the rail connection would result in the annual elimination of 3 million car trips. 

The trains will run as fast as 180 miles per hour and will have the ability to hold about 500 passengers as often as every 45 minutes, Brightline stated.

“California takes great pride in our ambitious status as the leading edge of high-speed rail in America. With this new $3.07 billion in federal funding, we take an important leap closer to making high-speed rail a reality in California,” said former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “An electrified high-speed rail network will dramatically improve the quality of life in the Central Valley and up and down California.”

The proposed Brightline West project would connect with the existing regional rail system in Los Angeles at Rancho Cucamonga, California, after running from a new station close to the Las Vegas Strip.

It would take just under three hours to complete the trip.

A group of lawmakers from Nevada and California have consistently pushed for federal funding to assist in the project for months, saying that Brightline West was needed for economic growth.

“This historic high-speed rail project will be a game changer for Nevada’s tourism economy and transportation,” Senator Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) said in a statement. “It’ll bring more visitors to our state, reduce traffic on the I-15, create thousands of good paying jobs, and decrease carbon emissions, all while relying on local union labor.”

Rosen additionally mentioned that the $3 billion grant is funded from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The Brightline West rail project was initially approved 15 years ago and has since experienced unheard-of delays and been remarkably downsized. Earlier this year, the company introduced the first-ever high-speed Orlando to Miami service.

The project is set to be fully constructed by 2027, which will be just in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

On Friday, President Joe Biden will be in Las Vegas, where most assume he will officially announce the Brightline West rail project to the public.

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