Light rail in Phoenix expected to thrive, not die

Written by Bill Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
Light rail transit
Since 2000, voters in Phoenix have supported light rail transit at the ballot box four times.
Valley Metro

Building a Better Phoenix did not want anything to do with building more light rail. However, the majority in the city wants to see more track.

Proposition 105 was an attempt to block current and future light rail expansion projects, and over 60% of Phoenix voters shot it down on Aug. 27. Mayor Kate Gallego applauded the victory, calling the urban dwelling the “Phoenix of the future.”

“Residents broke records when they showed up in mass and declared they want robust transportation options and investments in our parks, libraries, and city services, Gallego tweeted. “Light rail expansion is not stopping—not today, not tomorrow.”

Putting some residents and business owners on the attack was a $550 million light rail expansion project voters approved in 2015. In July, Valley Metro Rail filed documents with the U.S. DOT and the Federal Transit Administration estimating the cost of the project to reach $1.35 billion. The spike angered some, and Proposition 105 was born.

“Today was a monumental day at the ballot box for public transportation in Phoenix,” said American Public Transportation Association President and CEO Paul Skoutelas. “Congratulations to the forward-thinking residents of Phoenix, who voted to ensure that their light rail system can expand to better serve the transit needs of a rapidly growing city looking to the future.”

The approval by the voters means Valley Metro Rail will continue with the following expansion projects:

  • South Central Extension/Downtown Hub;
  • Northwest Extension Phase II;
  • Capitol/I-10 West Extension.

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Categories: Commuter/Regional, Intercity, News, Passenger, Rapid Transit/Light Rail
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