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Tue, Jan 15, 2013

Community Joins Together to Celebrate Northwest Phoenix Light Rail Extension

PHOENIX, AZ – On Saturday, with the help of a local Pom squad, hundreds of people gathered to help cheer on the kick-off of construction for the Northwest Phoenix light rail extension. Residents and local business owners interacted with Valley Metro and elected officials to learn more about the project and what it means for the community.

“Light rail has been a success in the Valley and it just shows how our residents desire more mass transit, especially in our urban centers,” said U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz. “It’s exciting to see the light rail extensions branch into different communities because it’s convenient, safe, and affordable, and they will continue to address environmental and pollution concerns.”

The 3.2 mile extension is another significant step in the development of a regional transportation network in the Valley. Expansion of light rail is also underway in Central Mesa and is expected to be complete in 2015. 

“The Northwest Extension is a critical addition to our regional transit system,” said Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta.  “Through regional collaboration, we have advanced the project by seven years and we will continue our partnership with the community to expedite construction.”

Officials from the city of Phoenix outlined the benefits of the extension, including economic growth and closer access to I-17 and nearby employment centers. They also highlighted the business assistance programs being offered to businesses impacted by construction.

“This project is about keeping a promise to revitalize and redevelop this community,” said city of Phoenix Councilmember Daniel Valenzuela. “We will continue to support businesses in the area with financial assistance and marketing. We are all in this together – their success is our success.” 

Residents can also help support local businesses by joining METRO Max Rewards, a discount program that offers exclusive savings for shopping local.

The Northwest Extension will extend light rail northbound on 19th Avenue from Montebello to Dunlap Avenue and is expected to open in late 2015/early 2016. It will serve more than 5,000 new riders every day, helping to stimulate economic activity along the future line. The project will create more than 600 jobs over the next few years. For more information, go to valleymetro.org/northwest, follow us on Twitter (hashtag #northwest) or contact Carla Kahn, Community Outreach Coordinator, at 602-744-5552 or ckahn@valleymetro.org.

Photo caption:
Breaking ground at 19th Avenue/Dunlap to begin construction on 3.2 miles of added light rail service. From left, Ruben Alonzo, representing Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton; David Cavazos, Phoenix City Manager; Phoenix Councilmember Michael Nowakowski; Phoenix Councilmember Daniel Valenzuela; U.S. Congressman Ed Pastor; Steve Banta, Valley Metro CEO; David Crawford, Sundt Construction President & CEO. Washington High School Pom Squad helped create a festive atmosphere by cheering “go light rail” during the ceremony.

About Valley Metro: Valley Metro provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County including the planning and operations of a regional bus system and the development and operations of METRO light rail. In fiscal year 2012, total ridership for the system was 71 million passengers. The first 20-miles of light rail opened December 2008 and served 13.5million riders in 2012 exceeding the prior year by six percent.  Six light rail extensions are under way that will create a 57-mile system by 2032. Valley Metro also offers transit options including commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance. A board of 16 governments sets the policy direction for the agency and works to improve and regionalize the public transit system. Get the latest news by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

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