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Mon, Jan 4, 2010

New LINK Bus Route Construction Groundbreaking Jan. 14

Phoenix, AZ (Jan. 4, 2010) Funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) are helping to keep jobs and aid in the development of a regional transit system in the Valley. Scottsdale Councilmember and Chair of the Valley Metro Board Wayne Ecton, Gilbert Councilmember and Valley Metro Board member Les Presmyk, and a trio of East Valley mayors will officially break ground for the next LINK bus rapid transit route serving Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa.

Caption: Partners show their support for continuing the development of a regional transit system in the metro Phoenix area by helping to break ground for the next Valley Metro LINK bus route. Pictured from left to right: Gilbert Councilmember and Valley Metro Board Member Les Presmyk, Tempe Councilmember and Valley Metro Board Member Shana Ellis, Chandler Councilmember and Valley Metro Board Member Trinity Donovan, Scottsdale Councilmember and Valley Metro Board Chair Wayne Ecton, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn, Gilbert Mayor John Lewis, Chandler Councilmember Jack Sellers, D.L. Withers President Dan Withers, and Valley Metro RPTA Executive Director David Boggs.

“This will be Chandler’s first mass transit project and provide a great link from our new Chandler Park-and-Ride in south Chandler to light rail service in Mesa,” said Chandler Mayor Boyd W. Dunn. “We hope it will also pave the way for a future light rail extension on Arizona Avenue.”

The groundbreaking will occur at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 14 at the southwest corner of Arizona Avenue and Elliot Road. Speakers include Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn, Gilbert Mayor John Lewis, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, Scottsdale Councilmember Wayne Ecton, and Dan Withers, D.L. Withers Construction.

“We are proud to be working with Valley Metro, Chandler and Gilbert to provide the LINK bus route to thousands of additional passengers,” Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said.  “Mesa has been the leader in helping to introduce innovative transit service. We are the home of the first LINK route, which opened in late 2008, and we are glad to be part of this important second LINK route to meet the region’s transportation needs.”

Phoenix-based D.L. Withers Construction will begin the construction project along the 12-mile route that includes 20 Bus Rapid Transit stations along Arizona Avenue and Country Club Drive along two artistic shelters located in downtown Chandler.

“In Gilbert, our goal is to provide transportation for every lifestyle to ensure we maintain our high quality of life,” said Mayor John Lewis. “This new service takes us in the right direction in providing convenient, affordable and environmentally-friendly transportation that connects Gilbert to the Metro light rail in a new, exciting way.”

Originally funded by Proposition 400 funds, the regional transit construction project would have been halted due to a downturn in sales tax revenues if not for the funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The Valley Metro Board selected the Arizona Avenue/Country Club Road BRT project construction for the stimulus funding in May.

“With stimulus dollars supporting this regional transit project, we can continue the momentum of the regional transportation plan that voters approved in 2004,” said Valley Metro Board Chair, Scottsdale Councilmember Wayne Ecton.

The total cost of the project is $11,615,000 and will include shelter construction, landscaping, lighting, utility relocation, data and power hook-ups, dynamic messaging signs for bus arrival information, fare vending machines and bike racks.  Additional elements of the project also funded by stimulus dollars include a traffic signal priority system and some of the right-of-way acquisition.

The Arizona Avenue/Country Club Road LINK bus service is scheduled to begin July 2010 at the same time the construction is estimated for completion.

Valley Metro/RPTA provides eco-friendly public transit options to residents of greater Phoenix and Maricopa County, including a clean-fuel bus fleet, low-emissions light rail,  a bio-diesel Dial-a-Ride fleet, online carpool matching and bus trip mapping, and bicycle and telework assistance. Funding is provided by local, state and federal revenues; and administered by a board of 15 governments working to improve and regionalize the public transit system.



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