“Imagine whisking through towns at speeds over 100 miles an hour, walking only a few steps to public transportation, and ending up just blocks from your destination. Imagine what a great project that would be to rebuild America.” – President Obama, April 16, 2009
On April 16, 2009, President Obama, together with Vice President Biden and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, announced a new vision for developing high-speed intercity passenger rail in America, calling for a collaborative effort by the federal government, states, railroads, and other key stakeholders to help transform America’s transportation system through the creation of a national network of high-speed rail corridors. To achieve this vision, FRA published the High-Speed Rail Strategic Plan in April 2009 and launched the High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program in June 2009.
To realize President Obama’s vision of giving 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail within the next 25 years, Congress made $8 billion available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Congress continued to build upon the Recovery Act by making available an additional $2.1 billion through annual appropriations for FY 2009 and 2010, using the framework initially established by the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA), bringing the total program funding to $10.1 billion.
The High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program was created to help address the nation’s transportation challenges by making strategic investments in an efficient network of passenger rail corridors that connect communities across the country.