21st Century Transportation for Arizona

Most Arizonans needs some form of transportation each day to get to work, school or other responsibilities. Yet Arizona’s current transportation options are incredibly lacking.

Arizona Needs More Transportation Options

For too many years, Arizona has neglected to adequately invest in public transit, bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure. The failure to provide a 21st Century Transportation system forces many drivers to deal with daily headaches of accidents and stifling traffic jams. Meanwhile, the pollutants from our vehicles contribute to poor air quality, leaving more and more citizens in Arizona - particularly children and seniors - suffering from respiratory illnesses like asthma.

The public transit investments voters have approved on a local level are working, but they do not extend far enough. While public transit in Arizona has helped to relieve congestion, curb pollution, mitigate public health problems and stimulate the economy, we can and must do better.

 

Consider the following:

  • $11 billion in economic development activities has already been generated along the light rail in the Phoenix area since its launch less than a decade ago.
  • Enhancing public transportation options will help Arizona attract and retain talented young professionals and the businesses that want to hire them. Millennials have led a trend since the middle of the last decade away from driving and toward greater ridership on public transit. Public transit agencies in Flagstaff, the Phoenix metro area, Tucson and Yuma are experiencing record ridership.
  • Expanding options to travel without a personal automobile can save hours of productive time wasted behind the wheel and improves mobility for those who cannot afford or are unable to drive a car.

Arizona PIRG is working with community and business leaders, public health and consumer organizations, transportation advocates and concerned citizens to encourage our elected officials to advance a transportation system that meets the needs of the 21st century – one in which public transportation plays a much bigger role than it does today.

Issue updates

Media Hit | Transportation

Guest Commentary: Burgeoning traffic concerns make bullet-train travel vital

A guest commentary on passenger rail written by Serena Unrein, public-interest advocate for the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, appeared in the July 24, 2012 edition of the Arizona Republic.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

New Report Assesses the Potential of Rail Public-Private Partnerships

A first-of-its-kind report released today examines whether high-speed rail should be public, private or both. The report released by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund examines the experience with public-private partnerships for high-speed rail in the U.S. and other countries.  In addition to outlining the promise and pitfalls, the report recommends ten principles to protect taxpayers and the public interest under private financing deals.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

High-Speed Rail: Public, Private or Both?

Private sector companies are likely to play a major role in the construction of high-speed rail lines in the United States. Public-private partnerships – or “PPPs” – have come to play an important role in the construction of high-speed rail lines around the world. The experience with high-speed rail PPPs, however, has been mixed.

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Blog Post | Transportation

New TIFIA Rules Will Hurt the Public | Jason Donofrio

The one major transportation program that was significantly expanded in last week's new surface transportation bill was TIFIA, the federal loan program meant to complement other forms of financing for major transportation projects. In expanding the program, Congress also transformed the program from one in which performance critieria were used to select which proposals most deserved tax dollars into a first-come-first-served pool that will no longer prioritize projects that provide the most public benefits.

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Media Hit | Transportation

Daily News-Sun: Traffic troubles limit elderly

As the number of Arizonans age 65 and older continues to grow, their ability to find available public transportation services are rapidly becoming more difficult, research shows.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Transportation

Congress Takes Big Steps Toward 21st Century Transportation in Stimulus

In a bold and far-sighted move, Congress added $9.3 billion in the American Reinvestment and Economic Recovery Act for development of high speed rail and other intercity rail. This amount was a large increase from the U.S. Senate version of the bill and came on top of $8.4 designated for other public transit agencies.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

New Study: Red Flags in State's Transportation Stimulus Wish List

A new study of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) wish list, recently submitted to Congress for funding under a new economic recovery package, suggests that Arizona’s current project list would undermine efforts to modernize our deteriorating infrastructure and reduce U.S. dependence on oil.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Transportation

President Bush Approves Landmark Passenger Rail Investment

President Bush signed legislation today that will strengthen the nation's intercity passenger rail network to accommodate record ridership and make possible new routes.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Plan For Economic Prosperity Through Transportation Announced

Today, on the heels of the Wall Street bailout and hours before the final presidential debate, local mayors and public interest leaders joined together to call on the next President and Congress to strengthen our local and national economies by building a 21st Century transportation system.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Transportation

U.S. House Addresses High Gas Prices by Investing in Public Transportation

Responding to record-high gas prices and the rising use of public transportation, the U.S. House of Representatives today passed HR 6052, the Saving Energy through Public Transportation Act, by a vote of 322 to 98 which authorizes $1.7 billion to transit agencies across America to expand services and reduce fares.

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Blog Post

Faced with a choice over whether to keep light rail on track, Phoenix voters decided once again to give the transit option a green light.

Blog Post

Arizona PIRG is pleased that Phoenix citizens once again voted (4th time since 2000) to recognize light rail as a beneficial transportation and to keep light rail on track.

Blog Post

If you are a Phoenix voter that waited until today to cast your ballot, please read.

Blog Post

For all of us who rely on our roads and public transit, and our water, sewage and power systems, the agreement reached by President Trump and Democratic congressional leaders in May to commit $2 trillion to infrastructure should be good news.

Blog Post

When it comes to clean transportation, most U.S. states are underutilizing funds from Volkswagen’s nearly $3 billion settlement with federal authorities for violating emissions standards.

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