The Biden administration’s decision to offer $2.5 billion in tax-exempt bonds for the $12 billion project gave the proposed high-speed passenger train between Las Vegas and Southern California further boost on Tuesday.
The government’s 2020 approval for the firm to issue $1 billion in comparable bonds and a $3 billion grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation preceded the statement supporting the Brightline West project.
Wes Edens, the founder and chairman of Brightline, stated in a statement, “We are ready to get to work and appreciate the confidence placed in us by DOT.” The sole privately-owned intercity passenger railroad in the United States is currently run by Florida-based Brightline Holdings LLC, and it connects Miami and Orlando with trains that can travel at up to 125 mph.
The 218-mile Brightline West project intends to reduce the four-hour freeway trip time between Las Vegas and the San Bernardino County suburbs of Los Angeles in half by transporting passengers in electric trains along new tracks along the Interstate 15 corridor at 186 mph or more.
The project, according to legislators and planners, has all the necessary environmental and right-of-way clearances, and labor agreements, and should help ease weekend and end-of-holiday travel traffic bottlenecks, which can stretch for 15 miles on I-15 near the Nevada-California border.
Democratic U.S. Senator from Nevada, Jacky Rosen, has supported the project in Congress and expressed her expectation that the long-awaited train link will improve Nevada’s tourism industry, generating thousands of jobs and lowering pollution and traffic.
Although a start date has not been specified, officials have stated that it may be operational by 2028, in time for the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.