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Rail News: Passenger Rail
Phoenix voters OK sales tax to fund light-rail extensions
Phoenix-area voters on Tuesday approved a comprehensive transportation plan that would significantly increase public spending on light-rail and other transit projects, city officials announced yesterday.
According to unofficial results, nearly 55 percent of voters approved the measure known as Transportation 2050.
Listed on the ballot as Proposition 104, the plan calls for a 0.7 percent sales tax that would fund the construction of an additional 42 miles of light-rail throughout the city, late-night bus and Dial-a-Ride services, and the repaving of more than 680 miles of streets, according to a press release from the city.
Light-rail corridors would connect the system to Grand Canyon University and Arizona State University West, city officials said.
"Phoenix is expected to double in population over the next 30 years, and managing that growth responsibly required the city – and the voters – to make some important and far-reaching decisions," said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. "Now that we are making these critical investments in light rail, bus service, bike lanes and better roads, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Businesses looking to relocate or expand in Phoenix now know that our city is thinking ahead."
In total, Proposition 104 would provide $31.5 billion for transportation projects over the next 35 years.
Valley Metro, the transit agency for the Phoenix area, currently operates 20 miles of light-rail routes in the region, and last weekend opened a 3.1-mile extension to Mesa, Ariz.
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.