Brightline High-Speed Rail from SoCal to Vegas Snags Another $2.5B

Posted on: January 23, 2024, 10:59h. 

Last updated on: January 23, 2024, 11:14h.

Another $2.5B in public funding is speeding toward the Brightline West high-speed rail project, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) announced on Tuesday.

A rendering of the Brightline West train
A rendering of the Brightline West train, which is expected to link Las Vegas with Los Angeles, traveling mostly on the median of Interstate 15, by 2028. (Image: Brightline West)

That’s on top of the $1B in bonds the DOT already invested in 2020, and the $3B the project received from President Joe Biden’s infrastructure law late last year. That makes for a total of $6.5B out of the project’s project $12B budget.

President Biden’s historic infrastructure package gives us the opportunity to build safe, green, and accessible rail systems that will deliver benefits to the American people for generations to come,” US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.

The 218-mile rail line will connect Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga, from which Metrolink connections are available to LA, as well as Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties. Construction is expected to begin this summer, with the goal of moving its first passengers to the 2028 Summer Olympics in LA.

The project promises to create 35K construction jobs, reduce traffic on the I-15, and reduce carbon emissions by more than 400K tons a year.

“We appreciate the confidence placed in us by DOT and are ready to get to work,” Brightline founder and chair Wes Edens said in a statement. “As the first true high-speed rail system in America, Brightline West will serve as the blueprint for connecting cities with fast, eco-friendly passenger rail throughout the country.”

The project’s latest funding comes in the form of private activity bonds. An alternative to corporate bonds, they allow governments to borrow on behalf of private companies.