October 12, 2012

FTA releases $75M for Ariz. light rail extension

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is providing $75 million to help fund Valley Metro’s 3.1-mile light rail extension into downtown Mesa.

Average daily ridership on the light rail system in September was nearly 50,000 passengers per weekday, inching ever closer to the 20-year ridership projection. The increase in September was 3.7% over the same period one year ago. The Central Mesa extension will expand light rail from Sycamore and Main streets to Mesa Drive adding four light rail stations and a park-and-ride.

The expansion, which should begin service in late 2015, is anticipated to serve nearly 10,000 daily riders. The total cost of the extension is approximately $200 million and will come from federal sources and the regional half-cent countywide sales tax dedicated to fund a regional transit system in Maricopa County.

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