The project has been picked up by a bipartisan congressional group which has petitioned the Biden administration to consider greenlighting the funds necessary to begin construction, as both states see the value of the fast connection.
The $10B Project Gets Bipartisan Approval Six elected federal lawmakers from Nevada and four House members from California have addressed US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg asking him to consider approving the project which is estimated to cost an eye-watering $10 billion.
Yet, the economic benefits from time saved in traffic jams and the reduced environmental impact from travel should outweigh those upfront costs in the long term. The project is planned as an electric train connection which could allow the trains to move at 200 mph (320 kph) and effectively cut the trip down to two hours. The economic benefits from such a move are many – starting with tourism and time saved in traveling.
Nevada would become even richer for the connection, making it accessible to millions of visitors from California, argues US Senator Jacky Rosen. Brightline West, the company proposing to build the project, would need some $3.75 billion in federal funding.
According to Brightline Holdings CEO Mike Reininger, this project could serve as a litmus test of how populous hubs can be connected when they are too far to drive and yet – too close to fly in. Brightline West wants to connect Last Vegas, Victorville, California, and Rancho Cucamonga in San Bernadino County. There has been mounting support for the project with a number of lawmakers backing the project and the pitch to the administration.
Reducing Emissions and Numbers of One-Way Trips “This bipartisan delegation from Nevada and California are pleased to support the federal resources necessary to develop essential transportation access between this highly trafficked corridor,” the lawmakers in favor of the project said, cited by the Associated Press.
The economic boon to Nevada alone could be significant. The Silver State’s economy has been improving year-over-year with annual results in 2022 beating 2021’s financial year. Another plus of the project is that it would use zero-emission electric trains and allow 500 passengers to travel per train.
Meanwhile, lawmakers have also collected relevant expertise that estimates that 85% of the 50 million one-way trips between Los Angeles and Las Vegas are carried out by car or bus. However, thanks to the trains, Brightline expects the number of one-way trips to fall to 12 million.