Sinema, Kelly: $638 Million Coming to Valley Metro’s South Central Light Rail Extension

Dec 4, 2020

Federal transportation funding will help complete the South Central Light Rail expansion, advancing and strengthening Arizona’s infrastructure

WASHINGTON – Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly applauded $638 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to help fund Valley Metro’s South Central Light Rail expansion, creating 23,000 jobs.
“Today’s funding announcement of the South Central Light Rail Expansion will create jobs, expand transportation options, and grow Arizona’s economy. I’ll continue working to increase infrastructure investment in our state and create opportunities for all Arizonans,” said Sinema.
“This is a significant investment in South Phoenix and the entire Valley. By connecting South Phoenix with the rest of the Valley Metro light rail, this project will give folks a reliable transportation option and increase economic opportunity. These are the kinds of job-creating infrastructure investments that are critical to the future of our state and I will prioritize in the Senate,” said Kelly. 
Today’s funding announcement comes as a Full Funding Grant Agreement from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and it represents the federal government’s role in funding and helping manage the project. The extension project will receive $530 million from the FTA’s Capitol Investment Grants Program and $108 million from the Federal Highway Administration.
With today’s announcement advancing the project, Valley Metro will extend light rail from downtown Phoenix to the South Mountain Village Core via Central Avenue and 1st Avenue. The project will provide a seamless connection between the South Mountain Village Core and Downtown Phoenix. Currently, roughly 38 percent of the population in this area lives below the poverty level and 12 percent of the households in this community do not own cars. The project will connect the community to Arizona State University (downtown and main campuses), downtown Phoenix, and the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
The project includes track improvements along McKinley Street, 5th Street, and 3rd Avenue in downtown Phoenix, expansion of the existing Operations and Maintenance Center, purchase of 17 light rail vehicles, and construction of two park and ride lots. The service is planned to operate every 12 minutes for most of the weekday, every 20 minutes during late night and early morning hours, and every 15 to 20 minutes on the weekends.