Mayor Kate Gallego boosts light rail during state of Phoenix address

Jun 13, 2019, 4:30 PM | Updated: Jun 14, 2019, 9:14 am
(Twitter/Kate Gallego)...
(Twitter/Kate Gallego)
(Twitter/Kate Gallego)

PHOENIX — Mayor Kate Gallego identified light rail funding as her top priority Thursday during her inaugural State of the City address.

Gallego said if voters approve an initiative to stop funding of future light rail projects in an Aug. 27 special election, it would “jeopardize billions of dollars in infrastructure.”

“The choices we make over the next few months will shape our future and none is more consequential than whether we will save light rail,” Gallego said.

Current light rail projects, like the South Central Expansion/Downtown Hub scheduled to be finished in 2023, would be affected if Prop 105 if passed.

Gallego cited Phoenix voters’ previous approval of light rail funding and expansion as reasons it should continued to be funded.

In August 2015, Phoenix voters approved Transportation 2050, a 35-year transportation plan that included the addition of 42 miles of new light rail and new light rail stations.

Phoenix’s most recent light rail station — at 50th and Washington streets — was opened on April 25. It was the first project using Transportation 2050 funds to be completed.

“Keeping light rail is just common sense,” Gallego said. “With more people moving to Phoenix, traffic is getting worse. Especially in the central city.

“Light rail is simply the most effective way to move large numbers of people in finite spaces.”

Gallego also touched on small business growth, innovation and education in her speech.

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Mayor Kate Gallego boosts light rail during state of Phoenix address