State board to consider Phoenix rail extension

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- State officials are considering whether a regional transportation plan should include expanding the Phoenix area's light rail system with a proposed 5-mile-long extension into south Phoenix.

The state Transportation Board during a Friday meeting in Casa Grande will consider amending the regional plan to put an extension along Central Avenue between downtown Phoenix and Baseline Road.

A Maricopa Association of Governments submission to the Transportation Board says several alternatives were considered but that the Central Avenue route of the proposed extension of light rail offers the highest potential for ridership and economic development.

Planners considered alternative routes on Seventh Street and Seventh Avenue and alternatives for bus rapid transit and modern streetcars.

The proposed change to the regional plan is subject to a finding that it satisfies air-quality requirements.

Phoenix looks at tripling size of light rail system

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