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Tue, Jan 26, 2016

Phoenix Light Rail Extensions Accelerate with Implementation of T2050

PHOENIX, AZ – PHOENIX, AZ – Just imagine, by 2023, you will be able to board Valley Metro Rail from Baseline Road, travel to a concert at Talking Stick Resort Arena in downtown Phoenix and complete the evening in north Phoenix at destinations around Metrocenter Mall. A major north-south rail connection will be in service sooner as Phoenix takes its first official steps to implement Transportation 2050 (T2050), a 35-year, multi-modal transportation plan approved by Phoenix voters in August 2015.

Today, the Phoenix City Council approved accelerating segments of the future high-capacity/light rail transit system to advance into the Regional Transportation Plan. These changes will be forwarded to the Valley Metro Boards of Directors and the Maricopa Association of Governments Regional Council for additional discussion and final adoption into the plan this summer.

“Because Phoenix voters made a historic investment in public transit, we’re able to accelerate high-capacity transit projects to meet more immediate community and mobility needs,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “The adjustments to the transportation plan are critically important to further the city’s economic development, sustainability and accessibility goals.”

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High-capacity transit program updates include:

  • South Central Light Rail Extension (Baseline Road to downtown Phoenix) to accelerate by 11 years, opening in 2023; currently scheduled for 2034. In addition, the Council recommended that the project be prepared for a federal grant submittal for inclusion in the FY18 President’s budget.
  • Northwest Phase II Light Rail Extension (Dunlap Avenue to Metrocenter) to accelerate by three years, opening in 2023; currently scheduled for 2026
  • Capitol I-10 West Light Rail Extension to be phased with Phase I to the State Capitol opening in 2023; Phase II to 79th Avenue and I-10 opening in 2030
  • Initiate a process to develop an early action light rail business assistance program.

The Council vote follows recommendations by the City of Phoenix Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee and the Citizens Transportation Commission (CTC). The CTC was created to ensure accountability and oversight of the T2050 plan.

“This is the first step of many by the Citizens Transportation Commission to ensure the best appropriation of T2050 funds,” said CTC Chair and former U.S. Congressman Ed Pastor. “We will continue to make recommendations to address street and public transit needs for generations to come.”

About Transportation 2050: In August 2015, Phoenix voters approved Transportation 2050 (T2050), a 35-year citywide transportation plan. T2050 is overseen by the Citizens Transportation Commission and includes improved frequency on local bus service, new light rail service and stations and major street improvement projects. Funding for T2050 comes from a 7/10ths of a cent city sales tax that started January 1, 2016. Over the life of the plan, the funds are estimated to generate about $16.7 billion, or more than half of the plan’s overall cost. There will be an additional $14.8 billion in federal and county funds, passenger fares and other sources. For more information, visit the City of Phoenix T2050 page.

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 23 miles of light rail. In Fiscal Year 2015, total ridership for the system was 71 million passengers. Six light rail extensions are planned or are under construction that will create a 66-mile system by 2034. Valley Metro also offers transit options including alternative transportation programs for seniors and people with disabilities, commuter vanpools, online carpool matching, bus trip mapping, bicycle safety and telework assistance. Two Boards of Directors set the policy direction for the agency with the intent of advancing the regional public transit system. Get the latest news by following us on Facebook and Twitter or visiting valleymetro.org.


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