US grants $638m for light rail extension project in Phoenix

7 December 2020 (Last Updated December 7th, 2020 09:42)

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has granted $638m to complete a 5.5-mile light rail extension project in Phoenix, Arizona.

US grants $638m for light rail extension project in Phoenix
The South Central Light Rail expansion extending the light rail from downtown Phoenix to the South Mountain Village Core. Credit: Juan Guemez from Pixabay.

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has granted $638m to complete a 5.5-mile light rail extension project in Phoenix, Arizona.

Announced by Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, the funds will help to complete the South Central Light Rail expansion that will extend the light rail from downtown Phoenix to the South Mountain Village Core.

As agreed, the project will receive $530m from the US Federal Transit Administration (FTA)’s Capitol Investment Grants Program and $108m from the Federal Highway Administration.

The extension project is expected to create 23,000 jobs and will facilitate connectivity to Arizona State University (downtown and main campuses), downtown Phoenix and the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The project also includes track improvements, the expansion of the existing operations and maintenance centre, as well as the acquisition of 17 light rail vehicles among others.

As planned, trains will operate at a frequency of 12 minutes during most of the time in weekdays.

Senator Sinema said: “Today’s funding announcement of the South Central Light Rail Expansion will create jobs, expand transportation options, and grow Arizona’s economy.

“I’ll continue working to increase infrastructure investment in our state and create opportunities for all Arizonans.”

Senator Kelly said: “This is a significant investment in South Phoenix and the entire Valley. By connecting South Phoenix with the rest of the Valley Metro light rail, this project will give folks a reliable transportation option and increase economic opportunity.

“These are the kinds of job-creating infrastructure investments that are critical to the future of our state and I will prioritise in the Senate.”