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Community Outreach Coordinator
On February 9, 2016, planning for the Valley’s first streetcar line reached a significant funding milestone. Tempe Streetcar is included in President Obama’s budget for Fiscal Year 2017, for $75 million.The project moves ahead with next steps including design, preliminary engineering, utility assessments and vehicle procurement.
The project received a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in October 2015, which indicates that the three-mile project will have no significant environmental effect on the neighboring communities. The FONSI comes following the project’s Environmental Assessment (EA), which evaluates the potential impacts to the neighboring environment, including noise and vibration, traffic and parking, and historical and archaeological resources. The FONSI marks the final step in the project’s environmental review process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Competitive procurements for streetcar vehicles and design, construction and artist contractors will begin. Construction will initiate in 2017 and opening scheduled for 2019. Community outreach will continue throughout each phase, including extensive business outreach and programming.
Following a three-year study that evaluated high-capacity transit improvements, a streetcar project in the Mill Avenue corridor was adopted locally and regionally into the Regional Transportation Plan in 2010. In June 2014, the Tempe City Council supported a route recommendation for a three-mile Tempe Streetcar route on Rio Salado Parkway from the Marina Heights development west to Mill Avenue, downtown loop on Mill and Ash avenues and south to Apache Boulevard, then east to Dorsey Lane. In spring 2015, the Tempe City Council approved the recommended stop locations and the route was also approved by the Valley Metro Rail Board and the Maricopa Association of Governments.
The Tempe Streetcar project capital costs are estimated at $177 million and will be funded using regional Proposition 400 funds, local funds, and federal grant dollars.
Streetcar is an important addition to developing a total transit network in this region. It supports the existing transit system and community with its ability to attract new riders, increase mobility, strengthen existing neighborhoods and create sustainable development.
Modern streetcar vehicles operate on tracks, typically mixed with automobile traffic. Stops are also more frequent than light rail.
|Planning||Fall 2014 - Fall 2015|
|Design||Fall 2015 - 2017|
|Construction||2017 - 2019|