News Release

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Jason Donofrio,
Arizona PIRG

Arizonans Have Opportunities to Weigh In on Passenger Rail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

As part of its Intercity Rail Study, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) recently announced opportunities for Arizonans to give their input on a proposed passenger rail line connecting Phoenix and Tucson. During October and November 2011, ADOT will hold twelve open houses and events. Supporters of passenger rail cheered these public meetings as a step forward for rail connecting Arizona’s two largest cities.

As part of its Intercity Rail Study, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) recently announced opportunities for Arizonans to give their input on a proposed passenger rail line connecting Phoenix and Tucson. During October and November 2011, ADOT will hold twelve open houses and events. Supporters of passenger rail cheered these public meetings as a step forward for rail connecting Arizona’s two largest cities.

“When you consider that traffic on the I-10 is estimated to triple by 2050, it’s clear that Arizona needs to find solutions other than ever-wider highways for our transportation problems,” said Serena Unrein, Public Interest Advocate for the Arizona PIRG Education Fund.  “The ADOT Intercity Rail Study gives Arizonans a chance to express their desire for more public transportation choices like passenger rail.”

The public open houses will take place in Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima counties, giving the public the opportunity to provide suggestions about where the rail line should be placed, how fast the trains should go, and where the stations should be located.

The Arizona PIRG Education Fund released a set of principles for what ADOT should consider in its passenger rail study. Among the recommendations were choosing a track placement with the highest ridership potential, building stations in places where passengers have good access to public transit, and balance private investment with public safeguards.

The State Transportation Board approved the State Rail Plan earlier this year, allowing the Intercity Rail Study to move forward and putting Arizona in a position to apply for federal dollars for passenger rail.

“Arizona’s leaders need to hear that members of the public want more transportation options, including passenger rail, so it’s important for the public to come to the ADOT open houses,” said Unrein. “Arizona has had tremendous growth over the past few decades, and we’re going to see more people coming to our state. We need to be prepared for that growth, so it’s critical that Arizona starts planning and building our future infrastructure now.”

The Open Houses begin October 7th, 2011in Tucson and conclude on November 1st, 2011 in Mesa.

Meetings in Maricopa County will be held:

  • October 11th from 3:00-7:00 pm at Burton Barr Library in Phoenix
  • October 12th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus
  • October 24th from 3:00-7:00 pm at the Chandler Downtown Library
  • November 1st from 3:00-6:30 pm at the Mesa Main Library

Meetings in Pima County will be held:

  • October 7th from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at the University of Arizona
  • October 8th from 6:00-9:00 pm at Second Saturdays Downtown in Tucson
  • October 13th from 3:00-7:00 pm at Pima Community College’s Northwest Campus
  • October 14-16th at the Tucson Meet Yourself event at Pima County Plaza

Meetings in Pinal County will be held:

  • October 18th from 3:00-7:00 pm at the Town of Florence Town Hall
  • October 19th from 3:00-7:00 pm at Central Arizona College’s Signal Peak Campus in Coolidge
  • October 25th from 3:00-7:00 pm at the City of Eloy Council Chambers
  • October 27th from 3:00-7:00 pm at the City of Casa Grande Council Chambers

The public also can submit comments online

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