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New Multi-Billion Dollar Brightline West Project to Connect Las Vegas and Southern California

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President Biden announced that $8.2 billion will go toward 10 major passenger rail projects across the country, including $3 billion to the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) to fund “the nation’s first true high-speed rail system,” according to a press release from Brightline. The high-speed rail will connect Las Vegas to Southern California—two major meeting and convention destinations—and is part of the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program. This 218-mile passenger rail service will reach speeds up to 200 mph and be able to transport over 11 million passengers annually.  

“This is a big and important step toward making high speed rail between Los Angeles and Las Vegas a reality,” said Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “It will offer an exciting, fun experience for our largest visitor base vital to our tourism economy.  We thank our Nevada delegation for their relentless work to help make Brightline West happen.” 

[Related: Visit Orlando's Casandra Matej Unveils New Meetings Experiences for 2023, From PCMA Convening Leaders]

The Las Vegas station will include easy access to the Las Vegas Strip, Allegiant Stadium and the Las Vegas Convention Center. Brightline West’s California stations will include Victor Valley and Rancho Cucamonga, with direct connectivity via California Metrolink to key points in Los Angeles, such as Union Station.  

The railway will also bring major environmental benefits, with the fully electric, zero-emission system to soon become one of the greenest forms of transportation in the U.S. The project is expected to lower greenhouse gasses by more than 400,000 tons of CO2 each year by diverting people from auto and air travel. It is expected to reduce vehicle miles traveled by more than 700 million each year and 16,000 short-haul flights annually. 

“We’re honored and humbled in the confidence President Biden, Secretary Buttigieg, Senator Rosen and so many others have placed in Brightline’s vision to bring true high-speed rail to America,” said Wes Edens, founder and chairman of Brightline. “This is a historic moment that will serve as a foundation for a new industry, and a remarkable project that will serve as the blueprint for how we can repeat this model throughout the country. We’re ready to get to work to bring our vision of American made, American built, world class, state-of-the-art high speed train travel to America.” 

The grant is part of Brightline West’s $12 billion transportation project that will bring more than $10 billion in economic impact to Nevada and California. The project is expected to create more than 35,000 direct and indirect jobs including 10,000 direct union construction jobs and nearly 1,000 permanent jobs for operations and maintenance. 

Read this next: L.A. to Make Travel for Meetings Easier with Transportation Improvements

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Logan Pratt | Digital Content Coordinator

Logan Pratt joined Meetings Today in May 2023 as digital content coordinator, focusing on digital marketing efforts and covering breaking news stories for the Meetings Today website and newsletters. To send a press release or any information regarding the meetings and events industry please email