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Opinions sought on route for unfunded Phoenix-Tucson passenger-rail line
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 rights-of-way with Union Pacific Railroad north of Eloy, where appropriate. All three alternatives would run along I-10 south of Eloy, according to a press release (Submitted photo, ADOT).

As the Arizona Department of Transportation studies the feasibility of a passenger rail line between Phoenix and Tucson, the agency is looking to the public to provide input on three alternatives that have been selected for further 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 rights-of-way with Union Pacific Railroad north of Eloy, where appropriate.

All three alternatives would run along I-10 south of Eloy, according to a press release. For more information about ADOT’s Passenger Rail Corridor Study, visit the website.

ADOT officials are participating in community events in Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties to reach out to community members to get their ideas and opinions on the three options under evaluation. They will be at the 6-10 p.m. Friday, April 11, Mesa 2nd Friday Night Out. It is on Main Street from Country Club Drive to Center Street. For information in the event, visit the website.

Local residents can also participate and comment through an online survey. The survey, maps of the three alternatives, participation booklet and the list of outreach events through May can be found at azdot.gov/passengerrail. The public comment period runs through May 31.

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.

Along with the three potential alignments, ADOT is studying sites for station locations along the passenger rail line. The route between Phoenix and Tucson will be designed as a blended service: An express service would have few stops between the two metropolitan areas, and a local service would stop at several communities along the way.

The alignments include system hubs located near downtown Phoenix and downtown Tucson, and each includes extensions beyond the system hubs that would link to the west Phoenix metropolitan area. Alignments would also connect to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Tucson International Airport and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

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.

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