Governors Pat Quinn of Illinois and Jay Nixon of Missouri have pledged the joint cooperation of their state governments and resources to facilitate the creation of a high-speed rail corridor between the cities of Chicago and St. Louis. The administration of President Barack Obama recently released the criteria under which states may apply for the $8 billion in funds earmarked for high-speed rail in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Quinn and Nixon have signed the Missouri-Illinois Memorandum of Understanding as a symbolic act of bi-state partnership in the project, which the Associated Press says will be one of many that states are expected to propose before the federal pre-application deadline of July 10; final applications must be submitted by August 24. "Because of the planning and foresight of our Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission, enhancing the route from Chicago to St. Louis for high-speed trains would creat jobs immediately, provide a cost-effective alternative for travelers, and position the entire corridor for economic recovery, growth, and transformation in the years to come," says Nixon in a statement. The governors say that a high-speed line would reduce travel time between the two cities from more than five hours to less than four.