In Las Vegas, Rosen Urges U.S. Department of Transportation to Award Funding for Brightline West

Senator Rosen Was Joined By State, Local, Business, Labor, and Transportation Leaders

LAS VEGAS, NV – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) held a press conference to call on the U.S. Department of Transportation to fund Nevada’s application for federal funding to construct the Brightline West high-speed rail project, which will boost Nevada’s tourism economy. She was joined by Brightline CEO Michael Reininger, Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft, Nevada Department of Transportation Director Tracy Larkin Thomason, President and CEO of the Vegas Chamber Mary Beth Sewald, and President of the Transportation Trades Department for the AFL-CIO Greg Regan. Senator Rosen also announced that she sent a letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to update him on recent progress on the project, including approval from the Clark County Commission and completion of the environmental review process, and to further urge him to fully fund this high-speed rail project.

Brightline West projects that its proposed high-speed rail project will remove 3 million cars from I-15 annually, reduce more than 400,000 tons of carbon emissions each year, and create 35,000 good-paying jobs. Brightline West has also struck landmark agreements to ensure this project will be built and operated by union labor. 

“High-speed rail in Nevada will be a game changer for our economy. It will help alleviate traffic congestion on I-15 and bring more visitors to our state – generating millions in economic activity, creating good-paying jobs, and contributing to the success of our travel and tourism industry,” said Senator Rosen. “I’ve been proud to lead bipartisan efforts to make sure Brightline West has the federal funding to become a reality. That’s why I’m calling today on the U.S. Department of Transportation to swiftly provide this funding so that construction can begin as soon as possible.”

“The time to build true high-speed rail in America has arrived, and we are prepared and positioned to shift from years of planning to action and development,” said Michael Reininger, CEO of Brightline. “We’ve designed a system that advances all of President Biden’s administration priorities, and we will plant the flag for the creation of a new industry in America with new jobs and benefits that start now and will span decades into the future.”

“The Nevada Department of Transportation is proud to partner with Brightline West in applying for a $3.75 billion Federal Railroad Administration grant,” said Tracy Larkin Thomason, Director of the Nevada Department of Transportation. “Our team has been working to ensure that upon approval we can hit the ground running and assist Brightline West in its ambitious plans.”

“Never have we been closer to securing high speed rail between southern Nevada and California than we are right now,” said Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft. “Good for the environment and good for our economy, Brightline’s station on South Las Vegas Boulevard will be a significant catalyst for the surrounding area, while creating both critically important construction jobs and permanent high paid positions. I am particularly eager for the significant investment in Clark County that comes along with such a project.”

“Today’s announcement represents another important step forward in bringing high-speed rail to Southern Nevada,” said Mary Beth Sewald, President & CEO of the Vegas Chamber. “The work being done by Brightline West, and the efforts of U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen is making high-speed rail a reality. The Vegas Chamber is proud to support this project as it will bolster economic development, foster transportation investment, and create thousands of jobs.”

“As America’s largest transportation labor federation, we are proud that Brightline West will deliver our first true high-speed rail system while employing thousands of skilled union workers to build, operate, and maintain the project,” said Greg Regan, President of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO.

Senator Rosen has been a leader in the fight to make Brightline’s high-speed rail project a reality and support Nevada’s tourism economy. Earlier this year, Senator Rosen sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation to stand ready to receive the Nevada Department of Transportation application for federal funding. After Nevada’s application was submitted, she led a letter of bipartisan support for funding through the Federal Railroad Administration’s Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program. For the first time ever, the Brightline West project has completed the permitting necessary to move forward with the project.