The Nitty-Gritty on Obama's HSR Plan

The ARRA has committed $8 billion to high speed rail. President Obama promised an addition $1 billion per year in future budgets. But how will the money be allocated? How will projects be selected? Details can be found in a new plan from the FRA.

From the Executive Summary:

"Proposed Funding Approach: In order to meet the goals of the Recovery Act while initiating a transformational new program, we propose to advance three funding "tracks":

* Projects: Provide grants to complete individual projects that are "ready to go" with preliminary engineering and environmental work completed.

* Corridor programs: Enter into cooperative agreements to develop entire phases or geographic sections of corridor programs that have completed corridor plans and environmental documentation, and have a prioritized list of projects to meet the corridor objectives; this approach would involve additional Federal oversight and support.

* Planning: Enter into cooperative agreements for planning activities using non-ARRA appropriations funds, in order to create the corridor program and project pipeline needed to fully develop a high-speed rail network.

This Strategic Plan is just the first of several steps intended to further refine and elaborate on this high-speed rail corridor vision – including the program guidance (due June 17), the President's detailed fiscal year 2010 budget request, the National Rail Plan called for by Congress, and discussions over upcoming surface transportation legislation."

Thanks to TRB Transportation Research E-Newsletter

Full Story: Vision for High-Speed Rail in America
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