Brightline high-speed train estimates 12.3 million trips a year by 2044 | HD Post

Visual simulation of the Brightline West Railway on the Cajon Pass.Brightline West

HESPERIA — Brightline West, an $8 billion high-speed rail project linking Southern California to Las Vegas, has released its environmental report on its portion of the Cajon Pass Railroad for public comment. A highlight of the document includes expectations of 12.3 million one-way riders by 2044.

The Cajon Pass high-speed rail project includes stations in Hesperia and Rancho Cucamonga with an expected construction start date of 2023. The trip between Rancho Cucamonga and Hesperia would be approximately 35 minutes and run at speeds of up to at 180 mph. The route would then connect to a previously approved 216-mile stretch from Apple Valley to Las Vegas in 90 minutes.

The project would be powered by overhead electric catenary within the Interstate 15 (I-15) right-of-way for 48 miles and existing transportation corridors for the last mile to the proposed Rancho Cucamonga station. From this station, users can also take the Metrolink San Bernardino line to Union Station in Los Angeles.

The initial train departure schedule is every 45 minutes for a total of 23 daily departures in each direction.

The report indicates that a projected substantial increase in population, housing and employment in San Bernardino County is causing increased demand for transportation facilities and services.

“This demand will lead to traffic jams on the roads if capacity does not exceed demand. The proposed Hesperia station will provide convenient connections between the communities of High Desert, the San Bernardino Valley and Los Angeles. The High Desert provides lower cost housing options for Southern California residents, while the Rancho Cucamonga/Ontario area around Ontario International Airport has become a center of employment,” the report states. .

The railroad is expected to capture about 14% of trips from Southern California to Las Vegas in its opening year – 2025. That capture rate will increase to 20% by year 11. million by 2035. By 2044, the railway is expected to make 12.3 million one-way trips per year.

The report states that runners between Rancho Cucamonga and Hesperia represent only 6% of total annual ridership because “the vast majority of runners are expected to continue from Rancho Cucamonga and Hesperia to Las Vegas.”

Other topics covered in the report include the project’s impact on air quality, noise, vibration, floodplains and biological resources.

The public comment period to review and provide comments on the Environmental Document began on Friday, October 28, 2022 and will close on Monday, November 28, 2022. Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 28, 2022. All comments received will become part of the public record and will be considered by the Federal Railroad Administration.

Two virtual public meetings will be held on the following dates and times to give the public the opportunity to learn more about the project and how to provide feedback. Closed captioning will be available for both meetings.

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To see the Brightline West Cajon Pass High Speed ​​Rail EA, visit https://railroads.dot.gov/elibrary/brightline-west-cajon-pass-high-speed-rail-environmental-assessment

To submit a comment, visit https://www.regulations.gov/docket/FRA-2022-0090

Jose P. Rogers