Phoenix-to-Tucson Passenger Rail Line: Yay or Nay?

Categories: Morning Poll
high-speed-taiwan.jpg
Apricot Cafe via Flickr
High-speed rail in Taiwan.


State transportation officials have taken another step in the slow process of studying a passenger rail line between Phoenix and Tucson.

The Arizona Department of Transportation announced yesterday that there are now three proposed plans for the rail line, and that will be narrowed down to one by the end of the year.

See also:
-Plans for Train From Phoenix to Tucson OK'd by State Transportation Board


While it seems like there can only be a few ways to run a train from Phoenix to Tucson, there are quite a few variables.

For example, one plan, "Yellow," would take more than two hours, while "Green" would be faster than driving (for those who drive in a remotely civil manner) at 83 minutes.

But all of this is in the future.

There's no construction schedule, because all these plans have to be done before it can be proposed to state and federal officials for approval, before funding can be sought, and before the shock factor will set in with the public when the sticker price is announced.

The entire rail study isn't supposed to be completed until some time next year.

However, without any of the specifics, do you support or oppose such a rail line?

Cast your vote below:


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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.



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74 comments
Matt Gorman
Matt Gorman

Still not as fast as those vans to Nogales!

Chad Nakashima
Chad Nakashima

Extreme heat would be the only concern of a bullet train to Tucson, that and maintence, but I'm pretty sure the cost would off set. And if they did a craft beer train, they could easily offset the cost, Japan just got a private beer car and it's been selling out already.

John Pallas
John Pallas

Yay, yay..sadly..it probably won't happen..how many times have we been teased with this in the past.

Noah Richardson
Noah Richardson

anything to keep the Phoenicians away from Flag is good.

Jeremy Paul
Jeremy Paul

down with planes move more with trains!

Aaron Sanchez
Aaron Sanchez

Phoenix, Tucson, Flag, Vegas, San Diego. It's ridiculous that we have no high speed rail service between any of these towns.

Tim Hamby
Tim Hamby

Phx to Flag... Now you have something! Nobody goes to Phx to Tucson unless they have to.

Daniel Varga Sr.
Daniel Varga Sr.

I understand they want to build Interstate 11 from Phoenix to Las Vegas first. Then complete it to Mexico and Canada.

Kelsey Adolf
Kelsey Adolf

yes! public transit can always be improved here

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Regardless of how much public support this proposed project may have, the Republicans will never let it happen.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

Why are people seeing this as an either/or?  How about a train line that originates in Tucson, runs through Phoenix and then out to San Diego where riders could then transfer to the Amtrak Surfliner to go up the coast through Anaheim, LA and Ventura to Santa Barbara.  Or it could meet the Surfliner at someplace like Santa Ana and travellers could then transfer to the Surfliner going north towards LA or south towards San Diego.  Both of those would be well-used options that incorporate Tucson and Phoenix and Southern California. 

Robert Montano
Robert Montano

What happend to the Phoenix, Vegas, L.a, bullet train ?

Ryan Garn
Ryan Garn

It makes very little sense actually when you factor the cost of building another massive bridge across Black Canyon. Have you ever driven there from phx? The present system is practically an interstate for all intents and purposes.

Ryan Garn
Ryan Garn

I would ask you phx denizens calling for an easy ride to Vegas or LA to take a step back an realize how much this would have a positive impact on transit and traffic in our own state. Hell, don't stop at just Tucson, get a link to Nogales, Flagstaff, Prescott, and Sierra Vista in the mix and it'll only be a matter of time before federal money is there to fund lines to LA and eastward towards NM and Texas. Also if you are the slightest bit familiar with AZ's topography you will understand why building another bridge across Black Canyon and the Colorado would be obscenely expensive. AZ has good inner city transit at all major cities, but transport between them is sorely lacking outside the phx valley itself, and that is where this would be a good plan.

queenleer
queenleer

People DO go to Tucson! There are great shops, cultural events and it always cooler than PHX. What is with the snobbery about Tucson? There is more to life the booze and giving your money away to casinos!


Nikki Anam Cara
Nikki Anam Cara

Add Flagstaff and you've got a bonafide train line! I've been preaching this for YEARS - hell yes!!!

mnelson2003
mnelson2003

Yes please.  Also I think the biggest benefit of this would be have a commuter rail THROUGH the valley.  There is no efficient way to get from one side of the valley to the other without a car.  We are so behind every other city even close to the size of ours.  Maybe a lot of people don't go to Tucson but it would make a lot more come FROM Tucson which means more $$$ for the Phoenix Area.  I agree extending to Vegas/LA would be a great idea but you have to start somewhere!

Ricky Potts
Ricky Potts

Would give me an excuse to visit Barrio more often! #beer #brewery

Angel Sandoval
Angel Sandoval

I like that idea!! Phoenix/Vegas ...................

Victor Hoelscher
Victor Hoelscher

How about a nationwide high speed rail system that would bring us out of 3rd world status in respect to passenger rail transport? We could have a rail system that would provide frequent service to almost every city in the United States for less that we plan to spend on our next war. This system would provide hundreds of thousands of high paying career type jobs (Providing we could prevent the bureaucrats from outsourcing) I would recommend that the design and implementation of construction phases be given to foreign contractors since Americans seem to enjoy taking 3-7 years implementing a simple above ground, short line local light rail system.

Niki Toland
Niki Toland

I can see why people in Tucson would want to go to PHX, but no one in PHX wants to go to Tucson. A Flagstaff & Vegas route would make more sense.

Andrea Behrens
Andrea Behrens

Yeah, the only way out of here is to fly, drive or take a bus!

Will Bjerke
Will Bjerke

I'd prefer it go to LA and Vegas. Who visits Tucson??

Ghormeh Sabzi
Ghormeh Sabzi

Phx to LA or Phx to Vegas....Who goes to Tucson?

Neil Hounchell
Neil Hounchell

A resounding YES! Tucson, Phx, Flagstaff and Vegas. Oh yeh.

Michael Schilling
Michael Schilling

Phoenix to Rocky Point with a border check connection in Sonoita/Lukeville.

Robb Vaules
Robb Vaules

Tucson to Phoenix to Flagstaff to Vegas

Daniel Riley
Daniel Riley

Cool! It'd be great if Phoenix had a rail stop. It's kind of crazy that the nearest station is Flagstaff. I'd definitely take the train instead of driving to places like NV, CA, etc.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@eric.nelson745  You mean that no matter how many people think it would be really super cool to spend a WHOLE lot of money on a train to move a few dozen people per day, the people who actually understand economics will say "no".

You might be right.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@mnelson2003  We're not "behind" every other city.  We're different.

We're more spread out.  Once you've gotten from one side of the Valley to the other on a train, what then?   How do you get to your actual destination, unless you like visiting train platforms?


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Victor Hoelscher  You're grossly underestimating the cost, and maintenance would be on-going.  Trains don't pay for themselves, and we need to spend less not more.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Niki Toland  

I would go to Tucson a few times each year if it didn't take so long to get there and if I had a way to get around town after I got there.

queenleer
queenleer

@Niki Toland I live in PHX and want to go to Tuscon! So do many of the people I know!


marcy
marcy

@Daniel Riley 

Actually the nearest Amtrak station is in Maricopa.  If you drive there you can ride the train to California.

Phoenix Union Station still exists but Amtrak stopped service there in 1996.

HaddieNuff
HaddieNuff

@valleynative  We are spending less actually.  I would change your point a bit and say we need to spend more efficiently. We'd be able to do more with less.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@mnelson2003  Park and ride, and then what?  When you get to the other end of the train line, what do you do?

If you can't think the simple problems through at least that far, I don't really care about your opinion on massive transportation systems.

mnelson2003
mnelson2003

@valleynative 


Let me guess, you are an urban sprawl enabler?  And have you ever heard of park and ride?   It is not beneficial to a city to keep growing OUT.  The more you grow out the more money it costs to support the infrastructure for all these crazy people that need to live out past the 303.   There are some of us that would like to not add emissions to the environment and would like a viable transportation system.  You are exactly right though, I will move because people like you make this city stay in a stasis.  That is why Phoenix is not a tourist destination and never will be.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@blackgranite  I say we're far ahead of them in terms of not being so crowded together that mass transport is a viable option.

If you want that lifestyle, you've got that option simply by moving.  Don't force it onto those of us who like it the way it is.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@HaddieNuff  Even if we are spending less than at some time in the past, we need to spend even less.  We are still going deeper into debt.

It's not efficient use of resources to build an expensive train to move a few dozen people per day.  There's a reason AmTrak shut down the line.

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