Vision for High-Speed Rail in America
In order to meet the goals of the Recovery Act while initiating a transformational new program, we propose to advance three funding “tracks”: Projects. Provide grants to complete individual projects that are “ready to go” with preliminary engineering and environmental work completed; Corridor programs. Enter into cooperative agreements to develop entire phases or geographic sections of corridor programs that have completed corridor plans and environmental documentation, and have a prioritized list of projects to meet the corridor objectives; this approach would involve additional Federal oversight and support; Planning. Enter into cooperative agreements for planning activities using non-ARRA appropriations funds, in order to create the corridor program and project pipeline needed to fully develop a highspeed rail network. This Strategic Plan is just the first of several steps intended to further refine and elaborate on this high-speed rail corridor vision — including the program guidance (due June 17), the Presidents detailed FY 2010 budget request, the National Rail Plan called for by Congress, and discussions over upcoming surface transportation legislation. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) intends to seek structured input from stakeholders and the public throughout the process of developing and implementing the strategy.