The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is set to award US $530m for the construction of the 5.5 mile South Central Light Rail extension project, connecting South Phoenix to the regional light rail system in Arizona, US.
The funds constitute nearly 40% of the total project cost and follow two prior allocations that have contributed to the full grant amount. This announcement represents the final step before the Full Funding Grant Agreement is signed, in January 2021.
In addition to 5.5 miles of new track, the project also includes the construction of a Downtown Hub which will create a two-line light rail system and provide support for major events in the region, such as Super Bowl LVII in 2023. It also represents reinvestment in the entire corridor and community with upgraded utilities, sidewalks, landscaping, local art and mobility being enhanced as part of the project.
According to Phoenix Mayor and Valley Metro Rail Board Vice Chair Kate Gallego, the grant agreement comes at a time when investment could not be more important. “We have been working towards this day for years and it is a personal passion for me because of the economic development, business, education and community connections that light rail can deliver,” he said.
Senator Kyrsten Sinema said that the funding announcement of the South Central Light Rail Extension will create jobs, expand transportation options and grow Arizona’s economy,
Senator Mark Kelly added that this is a significant investment in South Phoenix and the entire Valley. By connecting South Phoenix with the rest of the Valley Metro light rail, this project will give folks a reliable transportation option and increase economic opportunity.