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Biden administration reveals $8.2 billion plan to launch 'world-class' high-speed rail system: 'Supporting travel with speeds up to 220 mph'

"This is not just an investment in high-speed rail, it's an investment in jobs, the climate, and our future."

“This is not just an investment in high-speed rail, it’s an investment in jobs, the climate, and our future.“

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Americans may soon be clamoring for their ticket to ride after the Biden administration announced $8.2 billion in funding for passenger rail projects, including a "world-class" high-speed rail system in the United States.

"These historic projects will create tens of thousands of good-paying, union jobs, unlock economic opportunity for communities across the country, and open up safe, comfortable, and climate-friendly travel options," the White House stated in a news release. 

The California Inaugural High-Speed Rail Service Project received $3.07 billion, with a connection between Los Angeles and San Francisco "supporting travel with speeds up to 220 mph." 

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The Brightline West project, which was allocated $3 billion, will run between California and Nevada and is expected to have more than 11 million passengers each year. 

High-speed rail travel has received rave reviews, with China, Spain, and Indonesia among the countries investing in its infrastructure, but this project will be the first of its kind in the U.S.

While a significantly reduced commute time is exciting in itself, the high-speed rail project's intention to use all-electric trainsets powered entirely by renewable energy, as detailed in the release, should have even more people jumping on board. 

Photo Credit: Brightline West

Taking any type of public transportation is already better for the environment than driving, with the average gas-powered car producing more than 10,000 pounds of carbon pollution annually, but the electric trains won't emit any planet-warming gases.  

The United Nations has called for a transition away from dirty energy, such as oil, coal, and gas, "to avoid the worst impacts" of climbing global temperatures. 

Dirty energy sources produce almost 90% of carbon pollution linked to rising temperatures, severe weather events, and potential food insecurity.

"This is not just an investment in high-speed rail, it's an investment in jobs, the climate, and our future. This project is proof that America can still do — and build — big things," former California Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement published by the state High-Speed Rail Authority. 

"This investment by the Biden Administration represents a milestone in advancing our progress and making us competitive with the 26 nations that currently have fast, clean, and safe high-speed trains," U.S. High-Speed Rail President and CEO Andy Kunz added.

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