California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger submitted 42 applications for $1.1 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding available through the federal High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program, under which states compete for $8 billion in funding designated for intercity and high speed rail. Federal applications for Track 1, 3 and 4 require focus on improvements to existing passenger rail services for job creation purposes. In adherence to these federal requirements, California's Track 1, 3 and 4 applications focus on improvements to existing passenger rail lines, including the integration of high-speed rail with intercity passenger service. The federal government's Track 2 application focuses on high-speed rail and is due on October 2, 2009.
"By approving a nearly $10-billion
bond in November, voters spoke loud and clear that rail, including intercity,
commuter and high-speed, must play a greater role in addressing the transportation
and environmental challenges we face in the 21st century," said Governor Schwarzenegger.
"On top of stimulating the California economy, federal investment in California’s
rail systems will help lay a sustainable foundation for economic growth, help
us meet our environmental goals and improve quality of life here in California."
California is home to the
2nd, 3rd and 6th busiest intercity passenger rail corridors in the nation. With
nearly 5.6 million annual passengers, California has more than 20 percent of
all Amtrak riders and represents half of the total ridership on Amtrak’s
state-supported intrastate and intercity services. Since 1990, the state has
invested more than $1.3 billion in infrastructure and equipment and more than
$900 million in operating support to intercity passenger rail.