ADOT looks at Tucson to Phoenix transit

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- It's a plan that's been talked about for years, a passenger train from Tucson to Phoenix.

Now the Arizona Department of Transportation is looking deeper into it, asking for input from people who might use it.

The thought of a passenger rail from Tucson to Phoenix sparks the interest of most residents.

"I just think it's a fantastic idea.  Why on earth doesn't the United States of America have high speed trains.  I don't get it.  It makes no sense.  This is the perfect place for it," said resident Kathy Lackow.

ADOT picked the U of A campus as the place for the first of 12 intercity rail study open houses.

"The first thing that ADOT typically does with a study like this is we reach out to the public to ask the public some specific questions about what interest they have in new travel options between Phoenix and Tucson," said Michael Kies from ADOT.

The most popular option among the people attending the open house is a commuter rail.  They feel like it could cut out congestion on I-10.

"As people have noticed recently, a lot of sand storms, a lot of huge accidents.  I think this could help alleviate that," resident David Hart.

The study isn't just looking at a passenger rail system between the two cities.  Another option could be an express bus.

By the summer of 2012, ADOT says they will approach the public with their ideas on alternative transportation.

"Following that we will come to a preferred plan and one of the preferred plans could be that we don't do anything in what we call the no build alternative," said Kies.

The no build alternative would remain in place, if the public isn't interested in another type of transportation between the Valley and the Old Pueblo.

All comments for the study must be in by November 14.  If you can't make the remaining three open houses in Tucson, comments can be made at the Intercity Rail site.