A south Phoenix light-rail line is on the fast track to construction, under a plan to accelerate the city’s long-delayed expansion of the transit system.
The roughly 5-mile extension along Central Avenue — from downtown to Baseline Road — likely will be the first to get a major boost from Transportation 2050, the $31.5 billion transportation plan passed by Phoenix voters last summer. Residents started paying a higher sales tax this year to fund bus, street and light-rail improvements through 2050.
Now, transportation officials are recommending where to speed up light-rail construction that stalled due to funding shortages under previous transit plans. The Phoenix City Council recently approved a schedule that would push forward the opening of the south Phoenix line to 2023, more than a decade sooner than previously scheduled.