Funds to be Used for Brightline West Stations in Hesperia and Apple Valley, California
LAS VEGAS (June 28, 2023) – Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) received a $25 million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant award. The award will fund the final design and construction of two Brightline West intercity passenger rail stations and associated facilities in Hesperia and Apple Valley, Calif.
The RAISE program funds surface transportation projects that have a significant local and regional impact and address racial equity and barriers to opportunity. Brightline West’s two High Desert stations in Apple Valley and Hesperia will provide high-speed rail service to downtown Los Angeles through a connection with Metrolink’s San Bernardino Commuter Rail service, creating a much-needed transportation alternative for people living in the High Desert.
Brightline West’s $12 billion high-speed rail system will be the first high-speed rail system in America, bringing widespread benefits to Las Vegas and Southern California. The fully electric, emission-free system will be one of the greenest forms of transportation in the U.S., removing over three million cars annually and more than 400,000 tons of CO2 each year.
Economic studies show that Brightline West will create more than 35,000 jobs including 10,000 union construction jobs and nearly 1,000 permanent jobs for operations and maintenance. The project is expected to generate more than $10 billion in economic impact to California and Nevada. Brightline’s investment also includes more than $800 million in roadway improvements to the I-15 corridor.
Dr. Raymond Wolfe, executive director of the SBCTA, said the funding award for the Apple Valley and Hesperia stations paves the way for a larger grant sought by Brightline West for the Las Vegas to Rancho Cucamonga system, which will improve access and connectivity across Southern California. “This will provide a direct link between the High Desert, Rancho Cucamonga, downtown Los Angeles and our own East Valley, reducing the need to rely on personal vehicles for daily commutes, improving air quality and closing the live-work gap for millions of people. Along with other commuter projects either under way or under development, including the Arrow Line and the West Valley Connector bus rapid-transit system, Brightline West represents a cost-effective, 21st century solution to our region’s transportation challenges,” Wolfe said.
“The High Desert stations are an integral component to our 218-mile system and will connect millions of residents with America’s first true high-speed rail system,” said Sarah Watterson, president of Brightline West. “We’re moving towards a groundbreaking later this year, kickstarting one of the largest job creators in the country and setting the stage for a new era in transportation. We are appreciative of our federal partners, the SBCTA and all those who support our system.”
In April, the Nevada Department of Transportation in coordination with Brightline West applied for $3.75 billion from the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program. The program, authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, makes funding available for projects that expand or establish new intercity passenger rail service.
QUOTES FROM SBCTA RELEASE
Sen. Alex Padilla
“This federal funding through the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a major step in expanding rail through the High Desert. Connecting the future Brightline West corridor with Metrolink will help take cars off the road—reducing traffic congestion and emissions to create healthier air for communities throughout the region.”
Rep. Pete Aguilar
“Investing in our infrastructure not only creates good-paying jobs, it keeps our communities connected and spurs economic growth. That’s why I’m proud to have helped secure over $117 million for Inland Empire transportation projects last year. I will continue working hand-in-glove with our local community partners to secure federal resources that improve the Inland Empire economy and raise the quality of life for our residents.”
Rep. Jay Obernolte
“I’m proud to have worked alongside our San Bernardino County Transportation Authority to secure funding through the Department of Transportation to support the final design and construction of Brightline rail stations in Hesperia and Victor Valley. This high-speed rail project will bring significant new economic activity into our community, boost local job availability, and help to alleviate traffic by linking the High Desert to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. I look forward to continuing to advocate for the completion of this project.”
Art Bishop, President of SBCTA and Apple Valley Town Council
“We are thrilled to receive $25 million in RAISE grants for the Victor Valley and Hesperia stations and are grateful for the overwhelming support of Sen. Alex Padilla and our local Congressional delegation – Jay Obernolte and Pete Aguilar– in securing this critical funding. When complete, the Brightline West project will be a game changer for our region, reducing commute times, increasing job opportunities and improving the quality of life for residents.”
Brightline is the only private provider of modern, eco-friendly, intercity passenger rail service in America. The company currently serves Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach in South Florida, with service to Orlando launching this summer. Recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in travel, Brightline offers a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road by connecting city pairs and congested corridors that are too short to fly and too long to drive. Brightline West will build on this award-winning service by connecting Las Vegas and Southern California, with stations in Las Vegas, Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Rancho Cucamonga, and connectivity to Metrolink’s regional rail network.
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