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Mesa Ponders Transit Options

Credit: Tim Hacker/East Valley Tribune

By Gary Nelson for East Valley Tribune

The East Valley’s growing network of trains and trolleys could grow even more thanks to recent action by the Mesa City Council.

During this spring’s round of budget discussions, the council agreed to spend $1.2M to study two possible transit projects:

Extending the Tempe streetcar line into the Riverview area. Study cost: $300K over two years.

Extending light rail or a streetcar line from Main Street to Southern Avenue along Dobson Road, then eastward through the Fiesta District with a possible transit tie-in to downtown Chandler. Study cost: $900K over three years. Chandler would pay an additional $600K.

Neither project would be ready for construction soon. But Mesa officials said during a recent council study session they want “shovel-ready” projects to offer Maricopa County voters when a proposed Proposition 500 goes to the ballot sometime in the next few years.

Proposition 500 would be another extension of the county’s half-cent transit sales tax, which pays for buses, light rail and major road projects. The last extension, called Proposition 400, won approval in 2004 and expires in 2026.

When studies are finished for both the north-side streetcar line and the Fiesta District, Mesa expects to have enough information that the council can decide on exact routes.

Down the road, Mesa also will revisit alternatives for extending the Main Street light rail line past Gilbert Road and, eventually, into the Gateway area.

Read more at East Valley Tribune.

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