Map: Phoenix & Tucson
PHOENIX -- The Arizona Department of Transportation is looking at options for creating a passenger rail corridor or dedicated bus line between Arizona's two biggest cities -- Phoenix and Tucson -- the agency wants your input.
ADOT says the stretch of Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson is the most-traveled corridor in the state. With Arizona's ever-expanding population, the freeway likely will not be able to accommodate the amount of traffic the future will bring.
"Previous studies have shown that I-10, even with additional lanes, is not sufficient to meet the travel demand in the future," reads ADOT's 16-page information booklet.
Right now, most drivers can make a one-way trip -- about 115 miles -- in about 90 or so minutes. With a projected population of 12 million in Phoenix, Tucson and cities in between by 2050, that trip could take nearly six hours.
As part of a study that began last year and is slated to wrap up in late 2013, ADOT developed several options -- six rail plans and one dedicated bus line. Each option makes different stops, runs at different speeds and takes different amounts of time for an end-to-end trip. None of the plans is set in stone; each is subject to revision and fine-tune. They simply are a place to begin.
Now that it has those seven potential plans in place, ADOT you wants you to weigh in.
Based on public input and further technical analysis of the seven possibilities, ADOT will hone in on two or three options by early 2013.
At this point, the project is purely hypothetical. There is no funding and no concrete timeline.
If it is determined that there is a viable option, ADOT will launch further planning, including environmental studies and development activities before any construction is considered.
The online comment process involves watching a short video (less than three minutes), reading the information booklet and completing a short questionnaire. Public participation will be open until Dec. 15.
In addition to accepting public input online, ADOT is also hosting a series of in-person events at several locations.
For more information about ADOT’s Passenger Rail Corridor Study, visit www.azdot.gov/passengerrail.