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UPDATE: With meetings in May and June, the METRO Board and Phoenix City Council approved the advancement of Northwest Extension Phase I from 2023 to late 2015/early 2016. This is a positive step for regional transit in the Valley and will support the continued rebound of the economy. Next steps include reconnecting with previous contractors and updating/continuing project design. Construction could initiate in early 2013. More details will be shared with the community in coming weeks.
The Northwest Extension will take light rail service farther north on 19th Avenue to eventually end at the area near Interstate 17 freeway and Dunlap Avenue. The project is split into two phases.
Phase I is a 3.2-mile extension north from the current end-of-line at Montebello to Dunlap Avenue set to open in late 2015/early 2016. Design is underway and includes three stations, one park-and-ride and convenient bus connections at Bethany Home Road, Glendale and Northern avenues. The extension will serve nearly 20,000 residents, more than 20,000 employees and nearly 10,000 housing units. In addition, 14 percent of neighboring households are without an automobile compared to seven percent countywide.
Phase II will eventually take light rail service west towards I-17. It is currently slated for opening in 2026. Alternative funding options will continue to be sought after to accelerate this phase.
Capital funding comes from regional Proposition 400 funds as well as Phoenix’s 4/10 of cent sales tax. Operations costs are the responsibility of the City of Phoenix.