Phoenix Gets $1.6 Million for South Central Transit CorridorPhoenix Gets $1.6 Million for South Central Transit Corridor<div class="ExternalClass3BD9E401EC5F45AB90692CCF35AACA5F"><p>​The city of Phoenix Public Transit Department was informed today that it will receive a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.  The grant will support planning, environmental assessment, and conceptual engineering for the South Central transit corridor, a five-mile light rail line along Central Avenue between downtown Phoenix and Baseline Road.  Phoenix City Council members lauded the award announcement as a sign of the city’s burgeoning transit development.</p><p>"Extending light rail is critically important to south Phoenix and this is a significant step toward that goal," Mayor Greg Stanton said. "I want to thank Congressman Ed Pastor for being a champion of mass transit and for helping to make our light rail system a reality."</p><p>“We appreciate this federal government grant,” said Councilwoman Thelda Williams, chair of the Phoenix City Council Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. “It’s an important first step in the long light rail development process.”</p><p>|“The TIGER grant is a major step forward to bringing light rail to South Phoenix. Our office and city staff have been working on this for years and it’s exciting to see these efforts starting to pay off,” said Councilman Michael Nowakowski.  “Central Avenue is a major corridor for commerce and business, and light rail will make it easier for thousands of residents to move freely and quickly to this area as well as on to employment and academic hubs in downtown,  I’m confident light rail’s popularity in south Phoenix will exceed all expectations, just as it has throughout the current route.”</p><p> “The awarding of a TIGER grant to the city of Phoenix provides an exciting opportunity. The South Central light rail extension has been a top priority of mine since day one, and this grant will enable us to move forward with this critical piece of our transit infrastructure," Councilwoman Kate Gallego said.   "As shown in its high concentration of transit ridership, the South Central corridor loves our public transit system. As has already happened elsewhere in the Valley, the economic development potential that comes from light rail is enormous, and I am excited to invite business leaders to invest in exciting areas such as the historic Warehouse District. When completed, I believe this project will bring residents and visitors to gems such as the Rio Salado Audubon Center in the South Central corridor, and I am excited to welcome them to our community.”</p><p>"Light rail has yielded a $5 billion return on investment and has been a catalyst for economic development in Phoenix and the entire Valley," Councilman Daniel Valenzuela said. "I am glad the residents and businesses in South Central Phoenix will one day benefit from the expansion."</p><p>TIGER grant support will provide a variety of benefits to the surrounding community, where residents heavily rely on transit service.  Recent studies of the area indicated 14 percent of residents walk or bike to work, and more than 56 percent come from households with no available automobile.</p><p>The South Central corridor grant was awarded as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) 2014 program. In 2014 TIGER grants will contribute approximately $600 million for 72 transportation projects in 46 states and the District of Columbia.</p></div>9/13/2014 2:00:00 AMMatthew Heil602-571-5895