SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY – The U.S. Transportation Department announced Wednesday, a $25 million grant award to Brightline West and the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) for rail stations in Hesperia and Apple Valley. The award will fund the final design and construction of the two intercity passenger rail stations connecting Southern California to Las Vegas.
Brightline West says the railway and two stations will create a much-needed transportation alternative for people living in the High Desert.
“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,” says the Brightline news release.
Once completed the railway will travel at 200 miles per hour with an initial train departure schedule of every 45 minutes – 23 daily departures in each direction.
Brightline West says economic studies show that the railway 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,” says the Brightline news release.
Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity Grant
The $25 million funding comes from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant. The RAISE program funds surface transportation projects that have a significant local and regional impact and address racial equity and barriers to opportunity.
“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,” said SBCTA President and Apple Valley Town Council Member Art Bishop.
Bishop says when complete, the Brightline West project will be a game changer for the region, reducing commute times, increasing job opportunities and improving the quality of life for residents.