The U.S. Department of Transportation announced today that California will be receiving an additional $300 million in federal funds for high-speed rail, which will allow the current 110 mile segment in the Central Valley to be extended an additional 20 miles.
The windfall comes from the $2.4 billion set aside for Florida that governor Rick Scott rejected in February. Since then the money has been in limbo. California applied for the entire purse, but the money has been split up between the Northeast Corridor ($800 million), the Midwest ($400 million) and other states.
The U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, announced the news the morning, and had this to say on his blog:
Remember, we’re not just talking about quicker, more convenient travel. We’re talking about jobs. We’re talking about opportunities for economic development. We’re talking about cutting dependence on foreign oil, reducing tailpipe emissions, and easing congestion so commercial drivers can avoid highway freight bottlenecks.
Read the full press release here. The California High Speed Rail Blog also has the story and a long discussion in the comments section. The California High-Speed Rail Authority is still trying to assemble funds to build the entirety of the bullet train’s first segment from Anaheim to San Francisco.