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Community Outreach Coordinator
In late 2016, the Valley Metro Rail Board of Directors approved a contract with Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. for Tempe Streetcar design services. Stantec was involved in the design of the first 20 miles of Valley Metro Rail that opened in 2008, as well as design of the extensions in downtown Mesa and northwest Phoenix. The Board also approved artist contracts for public art elements that will be incorporated into each of the 14 streetcar stops. The art program is delineated by zones to capture the essence of each neighborhood.
Final design is expected in 2017 with construction beginning as early as late 2017. Community outreach will continue throughout each phase, including 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, which was also approved by the Valley Metro Rail Board and the Maricopa Association of Governments.
The project received a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in October 2015, which indicates that the 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. Click here to view the project environmental reports.
On February 9, 2016, planning for the Valley’s first streetcar reached a significant funding milestone. Tempe Streetcar is included in President Obama’s budget for Fiscal Year 2017, for $75 million.
The Tempe Streetcar project capital costs are estimated at $186 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.
Streetcar typically deploys vehicles that are smaller than light rail vehicles and that operate individually, not linked together.
|Design||Late 2016-late 2017|
|Construction||As early as 2017-2020|