PHOENIX - Several mayors in Arizona signed a proposal on July 13 requesting for state lawmakers to support Amtrak's vision of a route between Phoenix to Tucson.
The route would consist of three daily round trips from Tucson, Phoenix and Buckeye, Amtrak says. It would take just over two hours to travel between Tucson and Phoenix.
The proposed route will also have a daily round trip between Tucson and Los Angeles.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero says that funding for the passenger rail is proposed in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which will help fund additional rail services.
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego was in the Oval Office on Wednesday to discuss the line with President Joe Biden as the city is the largest metro area in the country without Amtrak.
As of now, the line goes through Maricopa, to our south, and right to Tucson.
The proposal would utilize current tracks to loop upwards, connecting Arizona's capital to both LA and Tucson.
The last time Amtrak rolled through the historic Union Station in Phoenix, the Suns were just a year removed from their last run in the NBA finals in the '90s.
The proposal lists a stop at Sky Harbor Airport and then to Union Station in downtown. Finally, the line goes onward to Avondale, Goodyear and eventually getting to Buckeye as the train heads out of Maricopa County to Los Angeles.
"I love the idea of someone else doing the driving the way to Tucson. Can you imagine if you had internet and could get things done the entire way there?" Mayor Gallego remarked.
Adding, "Transportation corridors become jobs corridors the more people can move about our community to peruse their dream job or their dream education, the more people can really improve their lives."
Mayors from both political parties have signed on to the plan, but it's not cheap.
The proposal is estimated to cost billions of dollars and completion would be years and years away.
"We’ve recently fallen behind countries such as China. We want to regain that leadership role. We want to connect people," Gallego said.
There’s a lot of hoops to go through before the line could happen, which is why Biden invited mayors from across the country to the White House Wednesday.
It’s to build steam for this bill.
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