U.S. lawmakers to vote $ 10 billion for bullet train subsidies

The United States Capitol is pictured in Washington, USA on August 20, 2021. REUTERS / Elizabeth Frantz / File Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (Reuters) – A U.S. House of Representatives panel plans to vote next week on legislation providing $ 10 billion in government assistance for high-speed rail corridors.

House Transportation and Infrastructure’s proposal also includes $ 10 billion to improve mobility for low-income Americans, including establishing new transit routes and funding toll-free service. The money should be included in a $ 3.5 trillion government spending bill.

Transit funds would also be used to increase transit frequency and improvement projects. During Senate negotiations on a separate $ 1,000 billion infrastructure measure, $ 10 billion in transit funding was cut.

The bill includes $ 6 billion to advance local surface transportation projects, $ 4 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from surface transportation and $ 1 billion for low-cost aviation technologies. emissions such as sustainable aviation fuels.

Last month, California announced plans to compete for billions of dollars in funding for rail projects.

“This is a one-time investment in rail. We see between $ 20 billion and $ 30 billion in funding in which we can compete for funds for the high-speed train project in California, and that’s what that we intend to do, ”he added. said Melissa Figueroa, spokesperson for the state’s high-speed rail authority.

In June, President Joe Biden’s administration reinstated a $ 929 million grant for California’s bullet train program. Biden’s Republican predecessor Donald Trump in 2019 withdrew funding for the project, which was hampered by significant delays and rising costs, calling it a “disaster.”

Biden, a Democrat, strongly supports high-speed rail and is committed to ensuring that the United States “has the cleanest, safest, and fastest rail system in the world.”

California touts its system as the country’s first bullet train project and aims to complete it in the 2030s. The cost has been estimated at $ 80 billion in 2020 but could ultimately reach $ 99.8 billion.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler and Sonya Hepinstall

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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