The Federal Railroad Administration on Tuesday began to solicit proposals for intercity passenger rail corridors under a program created by the 2021 infrastructure law. The Corridor Identification and Development Program could add 30 or more new Amtrak routes and increase service on at least 20 existing lines.
“FRA has received extensive interest from States, local leaders, and the public for intercity passenger rail service in their regions and communities, and the Corridor ID program will allow the federal government to help with the long-term planning and delivery of new passenger rail projects nationwide,” said FRA Administrator Amit Bose in a press release.
Despite significant growth in Sun Belt cities and job shifts across many regions of the country, Amtrak’s route map has changed little since its inception in 1971. Currently, major cities including Las Vegas, Phoenix and Nashville, Tennessee, have no Amtrak service. The Corridor ID program is meant to address gaps such as these.
Under the infrastructure law, new corridor routes would be eligible for at least $12 billion through federal grant programs.
The FRA said in a press release that it would look for proposals “that bring tangible public benefits,” including serving rural and underserved communities and routes that make regional travel more sustainable.
Proposals must be submitted to the FRA no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Time March 20, 2023.