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Buttigieg recommends $158.1M for Phoenix light rail expansion projects

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg last week announced the recommendation $158.12 million in funding for light rail expansion projects in Phoenix.

The Phoenix projects are among 25 rail, bus rapid transit and streetcar projects in 12 states recommended to receive part of $2.5 billion in competitive funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant Program, according to a press release Friday.

The recommendation calls for $58.12 million for the Northwest Extension Phase II project and $100 million for the South Central Extension/Downtown Hub project, both of which are currently under construction.

“Across the country, communities are seeking to expand public transit as a way to create economic opportunity, improve safety, advance equity, reduce congestion and pollution, and lower the cost of living for their residents,” Buttigieg said in the release.

“These capital projects will improve life in 25 communities and are the start of what we hope will be a once-in-a-generation investment to modernize and expand public transit across the country.”

The Northwest Extension Phase II project extends the light rail 1.5 miles from the existing end of the station to the Metrocenter Mall in north Phoenix, while the South Central Extension/Downtown Hub light rail project extends the light rail 5.5 miles from downtown Phoenix to the South Mountain Village.

The South Central Extension/Downtown Hub light rail project in January received $529.8 million in grant funding as part of the program.

Costing around $1 billion and expected to be complete in 2024, the project also previously received two $100 million federal grants, one in July 2019 and the other in May of 2020.

Meanwhile, the Northwest Extension Phase II project, expected to also be complete by 2024, previously received funding allocations totaling $100 million in the 2020 federal budget and prior program funds.

Funding for both Phoenix light rail projects were included in President Joe Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal, according to the release.

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