PHOENIX – It’s a concept that’s got a lot of people talking: a passenger rail system that could carry commuters between Phoenix and Tucson. The Arizona Department of Transportation is reminding everyone that there is still time for the public to participate in the department’s ongoing comment period and share their thoughts about the possibility of constructing a passenger rail line between Arizona’s two largest metropolitan areas.
On May 15, ADOT will host a public outreach event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the corner of First Avenue and Washington Street in CityScape in downtown Phoenix. Community members stopping by ADOT’s passenger rail booth during the busy lunchtime hours will have the opportunity to speak with members of the study team and fill out a survey with their thoughts about passenger rail.
Additional outreach events are still being considered during the month of May and will be announced as they are finalized. In addition, members of the public can participate and comment through an online survey until May 31. The survey, maps of the three alternatives and participation booklet can be found atazdot.gov/passengerrail.
ADOT is calling on the public to provide input on the three alternatives that have been selected for further study as the department continues to examine the feasibility of a passenger rail line between Phoenix and Tucson. The department has already received a tremendous response from participants — more than 10,000 surveys and comments have been received both online and during public outreach events during the past three years of the study.
Last summer, ADOT narrowed the list of rail alternatives to three: the Green Alternative, which would run along Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson; the Orange Alternative, which would serve East Valley population centers and share part of its alignment with the planned North-South Freeway Corridor; and the Yellow Alternative, which would also serve East Valley communities and share right of way with Union Pacific Railroad north of Eloy, where appropriate. All three alternatives would run along I-10 south of Eloy and would also follow I-10 and US 60 in the western part of Maricopa County.
ADOT’s Passenger Rail Corridor Study is part of the department’s long-range plan to determine what it will take to construct a rail line to link Phoenix and Tucson, while meeting demands for future growth and travel options along Interstate 10, one of the busiest highway corridors in Arizona.
ADOT is working toward establishing one preferred rail corridor for further study. There is currently no construction schedule and no funding identified to build a rail system between Phoenix and Tucson. It will be up to the public, policymakers and the federal government to decide if the project should move forward and how to generate the funding to pay for it. The study still includes the no-build option.
For more information about ADOT’s Passenger Rail Corridor Study, visit azdot.gov/passengerrail