​ ​



FTA awards a significant grant to Phoenix’s south Central light rail projectFTA awards a significant grant to Phoenix’s south Central light rail project<div class="ExternalClass92774FC3398C44C69952B15FA96EA5A3"><p><em>​Local businesses and area mobility key​ areas of focus</em></p><p>   The city of Phoenix has received a $2 million Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grant to aid in the planning for the future South Central Light Rail Extension into south Phoenix.</p><p>   The Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning Pilot Program is an FTA program that aids communities that are either developing or expanding mass transit programs. Phoenix is one of 16 communities across the country to receive a portion of the $14.7 million FTA grant program and is one of two, including Los Angeles, to receive the maximum amount awarded. </p><p>   "The South Central Light Rail expansion will connect one of our most diverse Phoenix neighborhoods with jobs, education and opportunity -- and this vital federal support will make those connections more seamless," said Mayor Greg Stanton. "The South Central line will better connect to businesses as well as pedestrian and bicycle traffic with the help of these funds."   </p><p>   A key element of the grant focuses on working with Valley Metro and local community partners to develop a proactive, comprehensive early action business assistance program prior to light rail construction. A primary goal is to provide necessary resources to existing businesses along the future extension with business tools such as marketing, website development, social media, accounting and financial resources. These important elements help ensure these businesses are well prepared for the upcoming construction project and are well-established after the opening of light rail in their community.</p><p>   "Not only are we building the South Central Light Rail line 11 years earlier than initial plans, but we're now going to have the resources to begin the best business assistance process that the city and our partners have ever done for light rail," Vice Mayor Kate Gallego said. "We have a strong and diverse business community along the South Central extension, and we want to support the businesses that help us create our community."</p><p>   In addition, the grant will be used to identify infrastructure improvements needed to improve access and walkability and identify incentives to encourage future development in the area. </p><p>   "This grant is going to help us make the most of the infrastructure improvements residents asked for when they approved our long-range transportation plan, while helping businesses along the new rail line prepare for the project," said Councilwoman Thelda Williams, chair of the City Council's Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. </p><p>   The South Central Extension is one of seven projects identified by the USDOT as a participant of the LadderSTEP Pilot Program and is expected to break ground in 2019. The project will extend light rail five miles from downtown Phoenix south to Baseline Road.​</p><p>   "World-class cities have neighborhoods that are connected and that are attractive places to live, raise families and do business," Councilman Nowakowski said. "This grant is going to help businesses along the line prepare for the project and ensure that the new line works for all users."</p><p>   Grant partners are Valley Metro, as the South Central Light Rail project sponsor, Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC) and the Raza Development Fund.</p><p>   For more information about the Phoenix Public Transit Department, visit <a href="/publictransit">phoenix.gov/publictransit</a>.</p><p><em style="font-size:12pt;"><span style="line-height:107%;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;"><br></span></em></p></div>10/11/2016 7:00:00 AMLars Jacoby, 602-261-8254