Light rail no longer being extended to downtown Glendale

Dec 14, 2017, 4:15 AM | Updated: 12:00 pm

(Valley Metro Photo)...

(Valley Metro Photo)

(Valley Metro Photo)

The light rail will no longer extend to downtown Glendale.

The Glendale City Council shut down plans this week to build a 7-mile route into downtown Glendale. The route would’ve been completed by 2026.

“I feel like my first and foremost responsibility to the citizens of Glendale is to make the most fiscally responsible decisions that I can, and I just didn’t feel like it was a fiscally responsible move for us to make,” said Councilwoman Lauren Tolmachoff.

The light rail extension had a price tag of $80 to $130 million per mile to construct. The city would’ve had to pay a portion of that.

Tolmachoff said she was also concerned about the yearly maintenance cost, which was about $500,000 more per year than what was available in the city’s transportation tax and would have to come from the general fund.

Glendale Vice Mayor Ian Hugh said he also had concerns about the costs.

“The money that we’re saving by not doing light rail is going to allow us to spend the money elsewhere where it’s badly needed, which I think will have a bigger impact on the City of Glendale,” Hugh said.

Meanwhile, Valley Metro Spokeswoman Corinne Holliday said they “respect the decision made by the Glendale City Council” and will continue to work with the city to evaluate and address any of the city’s future transit needs.

She also highlighted the $10 billion economic growth that’s contributed to the light rail and how convenient the light rail has made it for people to move around the Valley.

“People are able to connect to work, to education, to entertainment options all across the Valley,” she said.

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Light rail no longer being extended to downtown Glendale