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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Phoenix-area government association approves streetcar plan


The Maricopa Association of Governments recently approved plans to move forward with a 2.6-mile streetcar project in Tempe, Ariz. The project now will be added to Valley Metro’s long-range transportation plan and transportation improvement program.

Agency officials have been pursuing a streetcar system since completing a three-year study that evaluated high-capacity transit improvements to support Tempe and Chandler, and enhance the existing regional transit network.

The $160 million project will be funded in part through local funds from Proposition 400, a county-wide, half-cent transportation sales tax. In addition, Valley Metro plans to apply for federal funds to cover about half the construction cost.

“Streetcars, working in conjunction with other modes, is a next step in developing a total transit network that supports metro Phoenix growth,” said Valley Metro Chief Executive Officer Steve Banta in a prepared statement.

Next year, Valley Metro with work with the city of Tempe to convene a community working group to help staff determine the necessary vehicle, stop locations and street configuration for the project.

Construction is slated to begin in 2013 and be complete in 2016.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/10/2010