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Oct 8, 2012 8:48 AM by Nichole Szemerei, ADOT

Will a passenger rail or bus connect Phoenix and Tucson?

ADOT seeks public comment for passenger rail, bus study connecting Phoenix, Tucson

Public can participate at community events or comment online

As the Arizona Department of Transportation continues to study the feasibility of a passenger rail line or bus service between Phoenix and Tucson, the agency is again calling on the public to provide input on the seven alternatives that have been selected for further study.

In the year since the first public involvement campaign last fall, ADOT has identified six potential rail alternatives and one express bus alternative that could link the two metropolitan areas, while meeting demands for future growth and travel options along one of the busiest interstate corridors in Arizona.

Beginning Oct. 6, ADOT will participate in a series of community events in Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties to reach out to community members and get ideas and opinions on the seven options currently under evaluation. The public can also participate through an online survey.

The survey and the complete list of outreach events can be found at www.azdot.gov/passengerrail. The public comment period runs through Dec. 15.

Along with the seven potential alignments, ADOT is studying sites for station locations. 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, as well as Tucson International Airport.

Based on the technical analysis and this fall's public input, ADOT will then narrow the seven alternatives to two or three final alternatives in early 2013. Once the study ends in late 2013, ADOT is expected to select a locally preferred alternative.

Should the study conclude that a passenger rail line or bus service is feasible between Phoenix and Tucson, ADOT would complete further planning and environmental studies and development activities prior to construction of any segment in the corridor. There is currently no funding identified to build a passenger rail line. ADOT will work with the public, stakeholders and policymakers to identify a funding source, should the project move forward.

For more information about ADOT's Passenger Rail Corridor Study, visit www.azdot.gov/passengerrail.

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