House Committee Okays $90 Million for Light Rail, $4.7 Million for Other Local Transit Needs
WASHINGTON - Numerous transportation projects for the Valley would receive funding under a bill that was approved today in House Appropriations Committee, announced U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz. Pastor was a key figure in securing funding support for the local projects including $90 million for the ongoing Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail Project."
Anyone who lives and drives in the Valley knows these projects are critical to easing our traffic congestion and air pollution," Pastor said. "We face an enormous challenge in ensuring that our Valley's infrastructure remains current with rapidly increasing population to avoid transportation, cultural, housing and economic gridlock in the near future. I will continue working with my colleagues in support of these projects and I am confident they will receive full House and Senate approval."
The light rail project, currently under construction, is a 20-mile line that will link activity centers in central Phoenix, downtown Tempe and Mesa. The project is designated to receive $90 million in this bill.
Other local projects in the bill include:
- $1 million for the Phoenix/Glendale West Valley Bus Maintenance Facility. Existing transit fleets in the region exceed the maintenance centers currently in place, and construction of this facility would greatly assist in keeping vehicles functional.
- $1 million for park-and-ride bus service at 27th Avenue and Baseline Road to the downtown business section. This proposed facility would open a commuter bus service for the residents of the rapidly growing South Mountain/Laveen portion of Phoenix, which also would serve local route passengers as well.
- $1 million for new buses that would operate on an express route that connects the rapidly expanding population in north Glendale to downtown Phoenix. The major link would be a connection between the State Capitol complex and the Phoenix central business district.
- $1.7 million for financial assistance to residents living in the most noise impacted areas near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. As air traffic has increased, the air lanes have narrowed and engine size has increased, creating a negative impact on homes as airplanes fly overhead. This noise reduction program has proven to be popular and promotes a good neighbor policy for the airport.
- The bill also included $775,000 to assist the nonprofit Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc., in protecting the Santa Rita Center in central Phoenix where the late Cesar Chavez held meetings critical to his work on ending the exploitation of farm workers.