Government Issues

Phoenix voters approve sales tax increase to fund transportation

Posted on August 27, 2015

Phoenix voters approved a proposed transportation plan, called Transportation 2050, which dramatically expands investment in Phoenix for bus service, light rail construction and street improvements.

Elements of the plan include building an additional 42 miles of light rail throughout the city, providing late night bus and Dial-a-Ride service citywide and repaving over 680 miles of arterial streets. The plan will be funded in part by a 7/10ths of a cent sales tax starting on Jan. 1, 2016.

“Phoenix is expected to double in population over the next 30 years, and managing that growth responsibly required the City — and the voters — to make some important and far-reaching decisions,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “Now that we are making these critical investments in light rail, bus service, bike lanes and better roads, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Businesses looking to relocate or expand in Phoenix now know that our city is thinking ahead.”

With approval of the plan, Phoenix residents have continued local support of transit service that has been in place since 2000. That year voters adopted Transit 2000, a transit plan that helped to build the Valley’s current light rail line, introduce RAPID commuter service and expand the local bus network.

Connections to educational institutions are a key element of Transportation 2050. Light rail corridors will provide service to Grand Canyon University and ASU West, linking ASU and U of A campuses in downtown Phoenix on the Valley’s current 20-mile light rail line.

In addition to new light rail corridors, Transportation 2050 will build out the majority of the city’s bus service network, and introduce new bus rapid transit corridors along 24th Street, Baseline Road, Thomas Road and elsewhere. The plan also funds more than 1,000 miles of bike lanes, 135 miles of sidewalk construction and will fund shade structures at all the city’s bus stops.

The Phoenix City Council will consider next steps for the plan at its Sept. 8 Policy Session, including the formation of a citizens transportation commission to oversee implementation of the plan and how funds will be spent.

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