Plans for Hypothetical Train From Phoenix to Tucson OK'd by State Transportation Board

Categories: The Rail Thing
tucsontrain.jpg
www.infrastructurist.com
Would you actually use a train to get from Phoenix to Tucson?
You might think Arizona needs a train connecting Phoenix to Tucson about as badly as the city of Tempe needs a fleet of snowplows: not at all. Either way, a plan to link the two cities via-a rail system earned approval from the state Transportation Board on Friday.

The board approved the State Rail Plan, which is the first of many (many) steps that could bring multi-city rail travel to the Grand Canyon State.

So now the big question: who's going to pay for it?

According to Serena Unrein, spokeswoman for the Arizona Public Interest Research Group, funding is still unclear, but Friday's approval from the Transportation Board allows the group to move forward with a three-year environmental study, which is required for the project to be eligible to apply for federal grants.

The approval also gives the green light to a study that will determine the best corridor for the Phoenix-Tucson line.

"This is a very critical step," Unrein tells New Times.

At the moment, Unrein says, there is no public transportation between Phoenix and Tucson. She says the only option aside from renting a car is to use a van service, which can get pretty pricey.

"Kudos to the Arizona Department of Transportation for their leadership and foresight in drafting the State Rail Plan," Unrein says.  "Now we need to move forward with implementing the State Rail Plan so we can give Arizonans better transportation options."

Click here to see a draft of the plan.
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11 comments
AZnative
AZnative

Arizona has to break from its love affair with cars. Nobody moves here for respiratory relief anymore and for good reason - car pollution is killing our air. Take a hike up Camelback Mountain and take a look at the valley. The layer of pollution is incredible.

Beyond that, the project would provide jobs for the unemployed, spur economic development and bring new business and residents to the state. Believe it or not, MANY people and businesses outside of Arizona's auto-dependent bubble put 'public transportation options' high on their list when deciding where to (re) locate. Owning a vehicle is very expensive and many don't want the hassle of maintenance, road conditions, and time lost in transit.

More than that, passenger rail promotes 'smart growth' - something that is VERY needed in Phoenix to create walkable communities and decrease investment requirements in public goods such as sewage, roads, etc... Passenger rail is a long-term money saver for the state.

Studies show time and time again that this sort of investment yields about $2 of economic benefit for every $1 invested. So while funding for this investment will be tricky, it's certainly worth the effort to bring this vision to fruition.

yo
yo

Amazing waste of money. Just buy everyone who wants to go to Tucson a car and a tank of gas, it will be cheaper than this POS

Notorious
Notorious

we will all be old dead and gone from this earth and life before this ever happens. dream on.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

$10.00 for car rental a day in Phoenix/Tucson area is pretty cheap (plus gas). Greyhound and numerous other bus companies also provide service for around $20.00 one-way. Shuttle service is around $37.00 to 40.00

Kenc195
Kenc195

This has been talked about forever. BORRRRING. It will only be built on the backs of taxpayers who are tired. You want higher tuition, keep this study going. Metro want 220 million to extend the bus on wires 2 miles into Mesa, No land to buy? no trains to buy? $100,000,000 a mile wtf

Docbob498th
Docbob498th

What are they going to do after the train is built? Maybe a steamship from Phoenix to Flag?

Jose Gonzalez
Jose Gonzalez

Yeah, like it didn't take decades to finally finish the freeway system in Phoenix.

AntiSprawl
AntiSprawl

$10 to rent a car? Lol. Peak Oil occurred five years ago, according to the International Energy Agency. When $6 or $7 gasoline hits -- it's gonna happen much sooner than you think it will -- then you won't be able to afford a drive to Maricopa, let alone Tucson.

Blahblah225
Blahblah225

No way $10.00 for a car rental from Phx to Tucson!! I just looked at all major car rental companies and its a minimum $80.00 a day after taxes and insurance (if you don't have any). Waayyy too many cars on I-10 right now. Its dangerous. How much did the state just spend on widening the freeway (and its still wall to wall traffic)?? A train is a fantastic idea. We really need to get on board with a better mass transit system. I don't want to pay 4-5$ a gallon.

NAUgrad
NAUgrad

You need water for that, dummy.

Bobunf
Bobunf

That's what the canal is for, dummy.

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