Tucson-Phoenix Passenger Rail
All dates below are specific to the schedule of the Environmental Review and Permitting processes for this project.
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW AND PERMITTING STATUS
COMPLETION DATE OF ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW AND PERMITTING
The Passenger Rail Study between Tucson and Phoenix explores intercity rail connections between the two largest metropolitan areas in Arizona. Arizona will use this Study to analyze and develop future intercity rail options. The proposed passenger rail line will be designed as a blended service: An express service would have few stops between Tucson and Phoenix, and a local service would stop at several communities along the way. Phoenix is the only metropolitan area with over a million people in the United States that is not served by passenger rail.
Currently, there is no construction schedule and no funding identified for a project to build an intercity rail system between Phoenix and Tucson. It will be up to the public and policymakers to decide if such an effort is feasible and how to generate the funding to pay for implementation of the Study.
Draft Tier 1 EIS
A Notice of Intent was published in the Federal Register on October 6, 2011 to initiate the environmental impact statement process for the Study.
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) identified a need for an alternative transportation mode to help meet existing and future travel demand in the Pima, Pinal, and Maricopa tri-county area. By 2035, the travel time between Tucson and Phoenix via Interstate 10 (I-10) is projected to take 26 percent longer than the travel time in 2010 and, by 2050, 59 percent longer, even if the highway is widened to 10 lanes. The Arizona Passenger Rail Corridor Study (APRCS), led by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), builds on statewide and regional planning efforts and initiatives to investigate alternative approaches to implementing passenger rail service between Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona’s two largest cities.
ADOT’s study team developed a range of corridor alternatives with the goals of serving key population and activity centers, maximizing potential ridership, minimizing environmental impacts, and being cost effective. An iterative planning and outreach process identified potential routes; these were documented in an Alternatives Analysis (AA) report. Each has undergone multidisciplinary consideration, leading to a set of corridor alternatives.
Two corridor alternatives, in addition to a No Build Alternative, are examined in the Draft Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), through a process prescribed by the Council on Environmental Quality in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The Draft Tier 1 EIS for the APRCS analyzes the natural, built, and social environment that may be affected by alternative actions being considered and identifies the potential environmental effects of each so they can be compared to one another and to the effects of taking no action (the No Build Alternative). The information, analysis, and comparison of effects, as well as input received from the public, are intended to aid government agencies in making decisions about public expenditures and infrastructure investment.
The Final EIS and Record of Decision was executed by the FRA on December 19, 2016. The document is in the January 6, 2017 Federal Register.
In addition, pertinent information can be found at the project's FRA webpage, https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0720.
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The permitting timetable below displays data as reported by agencies. Dates for Environmental Review and Permitting processes (Actions) that are in 'Paused' or 'Planned' status are subject to change and are not indicative of a project's final schedule.
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