WASHINGTON – Greg Regan and Shari Semelsberger, President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issued this statement applauding the Department of Transportation’s decision to award $3 billion each to California High-Speed Rail and Brightline West through the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail Grant Program, , as part of $8.2 billion in new grants for passenger rail projects. Last month, TTD expressed support for this project funding:
“On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of workers we represent in the passenger rail and building trades sectors, we commend the Biden Administration for awarding this federal funding to support the Brightline West and California High-Speed Rail projects. Both projects have already demonstrated their commitment to high-road job creation by agreeing to use skilled workers for the construction, operation, and maintenance of these high-speed rail lines.
“As the largest construction project underway in North America, the California High-Speed Rail project has already created 12,000 high-skilled construction industry jobs. The project also recently reached an agreement with 13 rail labor unions that will bring hundreds of rail jobs to the Central Valley. The zero-emission trains will be 100% powered by renewable energy, reaching speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour. Similarly, Brightline is the only private operator that will build, operate, and maintain its 186+ mile-per-hour passenger rail system with unionized workers for the Brightline West project from Las Vegas, Nevada to Southern California. The Brightline West system is scheduled to debut at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles and will showcase America’s ability to build transformative infrastructure projects.
“In addition to delivering the first U.S. high-speed passenger rail systems and creating thousands of good union jobs, these projects will also catalyze a high-speed rail domestic manufacturing industry and help green the environment by reducing highway congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. The Biden Administration promised to deliver a new era of passenger rail and this federal funding supports that promise.”
As America’s largest transportation labor federation, the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO represents 37 labor unions, including 13 U.S. freight rail unions and the totality of U.S. freight rail workers.