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T2050 Moves Phx Transportation Forward

Courtesy of City of Phoenix

Source: City of Phoenix

Phoenix is quickly implementing its transportation plan.

It has been one year since the voter-approved Phoenix Transportation 2050 plan went into effect and already it has significantly improved the city’s transportation scene.

Many streets across Phoenix show signs of progress, and transit users are doing more thanks to the newly implemented service enhancements.

“With the Transportation 2050 plan Phoenix residents made a long-term investment in ourselves and our economy, and it’s already starting to pay off,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “Expanded bus hours, improved Dial-a-Ride service and extensive street repairs have already made it easier for residents to get to work, school or important appointments throughout the city.”

The 35-year T2050 plan was approved by Phoenix voters in August 2015 and is funded in part by a 7/10ths of a cent sales tax, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2016. T2050 has already expanded bus service, sped up plans for light rail construction and improved Phoenix’s streets.

Public Transit Accomplishments 

Here’s a look at what the Public Transit Department has accomplished under year one of T2050:

  • Implemented Route 32, which services 32nd Street from Camelback Road to the light rail station at 44th and Washington streets
  • Improved Dial-a-Ride with a new transfer-free feature that allows users to travel beyond Phoenix’s borders without having to transfer to another city’s DAR service
  • Commenced design on a new light rail station to be built at 50th and Washington streets, near Ability 360, a disability resource center in the area
  • Began $17M in improvements to local bus and DAR service
  • Procured contract for new Computer Aided Dispatch/Automated Vehicle Location (CAD/AVL) system in November.
  • Accelerated the development of the South Central Light Rail Extension by more than a decade.

Street Program Accomplishments

T2050 significantly helped the city’s 2016 street improvement and maintenance budget.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how T2050 boosted street funds:

  • The existing street maintenance program (funded through the Arizona Highway User Revenue/Gas tax) received an additional $11.3M
  • Capital funds received $9.7M (added to the existing $3M)

T2050 funds allowed the Street Transportation Department to begin addressing the city’s overdue capital and maintenance needs:

  • Quadrupled the number of street miles in the 2016 street pavement preservation program.
  • More than 250 miles of pavement preservation – of these more than 75 miles are T2050 funded.
  • Replaced damaged and degraded curb and gutter and repaired sidewalks, where required, to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Installed more than 55 bicycle-lane miles, of which 6.5 lane miles used T2050 funding.
  • Began a two-year effort to replace 3,000 damaged street name signs at major intersections with new illuminated street signs greatly improving visibility and legibility
  • Began a 10-year initiative to repaint city traffic signal poles at major intersections.

What’s Next?

Many projects either have been or will be reviewed by the Citizens Transportation Commission (CTC). The CTC is a 15-member commission appointed by the mayor and Council, to review appropriations and make recommendations to the City Council regarding Public Transit and Street Transportation department projects that are funded by T2050.

The Street Transportation Department plans to add left-turn arrows at up to 35 major intersections, over the next five years.

With a $14.1M boost from T2050 funding the anticipated number of miles that will be included in next year’s pavement preservation program will be even higher than the number in 2016.

During 2017 staff will continue to work with the CTC to prioritize the $240M that is planned for major street infrastructure improvements, such as new bridge and road projects.

In addition, the groundbreaking for the 50th Street light rail station takes place in early 2017, followed by plans to start constructing shade structures at transit stops throughout Phoenix. Over the next five years, Transit plans to build more than 200 new shade structures for bus riders during hotter months.

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