Valley Metro CEO, Phoenix mayor celebrate defeat of Prop 105
PHOENIX — Opponents of Proposition 105, which was widely voted down by Phoenix residents Tuesday, are celebrating the city’s support of light rail.
The measure would have halted all light rail expansion in the city and redirected those funds to other infrastructure projects.
Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith said he is “grateful” for the voters who shot down the proposition, 62% to 38%, according to the most recent update Wednesday night.
“I think the one thing that’s crystal clear is that voters have said, in no uncertain terms, they like public transportation and they like light rail and they want to extend it,” Smith told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Wednesday.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego told KTAR News the vote means the South Central expansion, which she said will reach one of the city’s areas with lowest car ownership, can move forward.
“(The) election result means that we are going to have a light rail system in the city of Phoenix,” she said.
“Right now, we just have a single line that goes through one portion of our community.”
Smith said while the expansion was put on hold for the past two months due to the election, construction will now begin this fall.
He said he wouldn’t be surprised if the challenges aren’t over, though.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a court challenge, but we’re moving ahead based on what the voters said,” he said.
However, Gallego said she doesn’t expect a legal challenge.
“The campaign that lost was the one that wrote the wording on the ballot, so it seems like it would be difficult for them to challenge their own wording,” she said.
Smith said people need not worry that the vote means money will be taken away from other transit projects.
“The T2050 Plan was a 35-year plan that included money for bus transportation, light rail and streets. Everything was funded within the plan,” he said.
“All this would have done would have been to transfer money that would have been spent on light rail to other things that are already funded.”
Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who supported the measure, told Arizona’s Morning News in March that light rail “only helps a select few, whereas our roads help everybody.”
He expressed his disappointment with the election results Tuesday on Twitter.