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Public Can Weigh In On Environmental Impact Statement for Phoenix-Tucson Rail

Passenger Rail, Maps, Intercity Rail
(Photo courtesy of ADOT)
Yellow and orange lines indicate options for a passenger rail between Phoenix and Tucson.

Discussion of a passenger rail between Phoenix and Tucson has been happening for years, but now public input will help move the project forward.

The Arizona Department of Transportation has released the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement, or EIS, for the passenger rail, taking one step closer to identifying costs, impacts and benefits to the project.

The EIS considers two possible routes that start west of Phoenix, run through downtown and the East Valley, past Queen Creek and then south past Eloy along I-10 and to the Tucson International Airport.

The EIS also offers the option not to build the rail if regional highways are expanded.

The rail has no identified funding source or proposed construction schedule. The EIS is open for public comment until Oct. 30 and is available online at azdot.gov/passengerrail.

Andrew Bernier was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2016.