Baton Rouge — August 9, 2022 — Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome applauds the $20 million USDOT RAISE Grant award to advance the Baton Rouge to New Orleans passenger rail project. The grant provides necessary funding for real estate acquisition, design, and construction of the proposed Baton Rouge and Gonzales train stations.
“Connecting Baton Rouge and New Orleans via passenger rail, with key stops in between, will connect communities and enhance economic opportunity for citizens of South Louisiana,” said Mayor Broome.
The service proposes two stops in Baton Rouge, one in Gonzales, as well as stops in LaPlace, at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, in Kenner, and the New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal in downtown New Orleans.
The grant provides the foundation for Baton Rouge’s signature downtown rail station, a necessary cornerstone for the long-awaited return of the Baton Rouge to New Orleans passenger rail service. Of the $20 million RAISE Grant, $13 million will be utilized to plan and construct the rail platform and canopy with associated ADA accessibility. City-Parish matching funds of $3.25 million are also pledged for a $16.25 million initial project.
“This grant award is the result of unprecedented regional collaboration between two cities critical to the success of this project,” said Mayor Broome.
Baton Rouge and Gonzales jointly applied for the grant funding to ensure the Capital Region advanced both major rail station locations, a vital first step in the overall project’s path to implementation.
The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, enacted in November 2021, provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to inject significant funding in alternative transportation modes central to the future of America’s transportation system.
The City of Baton Rouge, in partnership with the Southern Rail Commission and administered by Build Baton Rouge, completed in March 2019 a master plan for two Baton Rouge rail stations, one downtown and one in the Health District.