January 31, 2023
Secretary Pete Budigeig
United States Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE
Washington, DC 20590
Dear Secretary Budigeig,
I am writing on behalf of Inland Action in support of the Nevada Department of Transportation and Brightline West’s Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
This unprecedented funding opportunity for intercity high-speed rail will unleash private investment at a critical moment for our nation, demonstrating the potential for public-private partnerships and creating momentum for high-speed rail in the United States. Brightline West will serve as a powerful example of the possibilities of high-speed rail for other cities and regions and is well-positioned to advance the U.S. Department of Transportation’s priorities related to multi-generational infrastructure investments, job creation, equity, and climate change resiliency and sustainability.
Brightline West will connect Las Vegas and Southern California through planned stations in Las Vegas and San Bernardino County, with connectivity into Los Angeles County through Metrolink. The project will bolster additional economic activity for the region, with $10 billion in economic impact and $1 billion in tax revenue. Brightline West will create over 35,000 construction jobs and approximately 1,000 permanent jobs, creating pathways for workforce development, training, and access to quality jobs. This includes a commitment to ensure the creation of good-paying union jobs. As seen through other transit areas, the development of a new transit system will provide opportunities for ancillary development around station areas, spurring additional economic activity for communities along the corridor.
The system will also align with the administration’s climate goals by diverting millions of automobile users from I-15 onto a faster, more efficient, zero-emission transportation option. Each year, Brightline West operations will remove an estimated 3 million vehicles and over 700 million vehicle miles traveled from the highway, as well as 400,000 tons of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere, supporting California’s and Nevada’s respective greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals and leading the way for cleaner travel options for Americans.
For the above reasons, Inland Action is supportive of the Grant application.
Carole Beswick, CEO