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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

FRA fast-tracking HSR grant program

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Citing a overwhelming number of applications, the Federal Railroad Administration has made a change to the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) high speed rail grant program, announcing that it expects to award grants this winter, rather than in several rounds.

"We have received numerous applications from states and groups of states for the development of high speed and intercity passenger rail programs for grant funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," said FRAAdministrator Joseh C. Szabo. "These include 45 applications from 24 states totaling approximately $50 billion to advance high speed rail corridor programs. We also received 214 applications from 34 states totaling $7 billion for corridor planning and smaller projects. Due to the overwhelming response and our desire to lay the groundwork for a truly national high speed and intercity passenger rail program, we will be announcing all awards this winter."

Szabo did not specify an exact date. He said the FRA's selections "will be merit-based and will reflect President Obama's vision to remake America's transportation landscape."

The ARRA HSR grant program totals $8 billion. The President has included an additional $5 billion in his Fiscal Year 2010 budget request. 

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