The maglev proposal would link Las Vegas with Anaheim, Calif., while the DesertXpress proposal would include a line between Las Vegas and Victorville, Calif., with plans to tie it to the voter-approved California high-speed rail system in the future.
The release also followed media reports
in which maglev spokesman Mark Fierro criticized Reid’s redirecting of $45 million that had been earmarked for the maglev project to a highway project at McCarran International Airport.
Reid, a long-time maglev supporter, switched his allegiance to the DesertXpress project in June. While Reid characterized the switch as a result of a lack of progress by the maglev developers, critics have said the turnabout occurred because DesertXpress backer Sig Rogich had months earlier organized a group of Republicans in support of Reid’s re-election.
"I have no ill will toward the people behind the maglev project and want it to be clear that no one, including me, is stopping them from moving ahead with their project," Reid’s release said. "During the many years I supported maglev, Congress made more than $50 million available, including a $45 million appropriation in 2008.
"We are now well into 2010 and maglev has failed to come up with the 20 percent match needed to obtain these federal funds, which is why I reprogrammed the $45 million for a transportation project in Southern Nevada that will actually create jobs right away," the release said. "While Nevadans are rightfully impressed with the maglev technology, they, like me, just want to see something get done. DesertXpress is ready to break ground and put Nevadans back to work this year."